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London : 
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Edinburgh : 
20, South Frederick- street. 


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The Academy desire it to he understood that they are not 
answerable for any ojnnion, representation of facts, or train of 
reasoning that may apj^ear in any of the folloiving Papers. The 
Authors of the several Papers are alone responsible for their 




Abkaham, p. S., M.A. page. 

On a Model of a Human Face from an Island off the East Coast 

of New Guinea. (Plate IIL), 79 

On a Collection of Crania, &c., from the South- West Coast of 

Africa. (Plates IV. and V.), 82 

Adams, A. Leith. {See Usshee.) 
Aemsteong, Geokge Allman, C.E. 

Some particular relation to the finding of Human Remains in 

the neighbourhood of Dundalk, ...... 59 

Ball, V., M.A., F.R.S. 

On some Brass Castings of Indian Manufacture, . . . 373 
On the Identification of the Animals and Plants of India which 

were known to the early Greek Authors, .... 302 

Baeey, Rev, Edmois^d. 

On an Ogham Monument at Rathcohane, County Cork, . . 485 

Btot, John B., M.A., F.T.C.D. 

The Praetorian Prefects and the Divisions of the Roman Empii-e 

in the Fourth Century, A.D., 490 

Deane, Thomas Newenham, M.A. 

On Quin Abbey. (Plate XIIL), 201 


On the Abbey of Fahan, 97 

Deew, Thomas, R.H.A. 

On Evidences of the Plan of the Cloister Garth and Monastic 
Buildings of the Priory of the Holy Trinity, now known as 
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. (Plate XV.), . . 218 

Feeguson, Sie Samuel, LL.D., Q,.C. 

On a Passage in the "Confessio Patricii," Part I., . . 3 

n >> 5) )) )) 5> )> ■'--'■•) 

On the Doorway of the Round Tower of Kildare, 
On the Legend of Dathi, ...... 

Address to the Academy as President, 

On some Passages in the " Confessio" of St. Patrick, 

On the Kenfig Inscription, 

( Vide also Geaves.) 


VI List of the Contributors. 

Teazee, William, F.R.C.S.I. page. 

On a Bronze Medallion of the " Delivery of Antwerp in 1577," 7 
On an Early Irish Harp, 9 

On a Bronze Bell, Sculptured Head of Stone and other Antiqui- 
ties found at the Church of Knockatempul, Co. Wicklow, . 12 

Description of a Sepulchral Mound at Donnybrook, containing 
Human 'and other Remains referable to the Tenth or 
Eleventh Centuries, . . . . . . . .29 

On certain Papers relating to Lady Bellasyse, &e., . . 56 

Description of a Himyaritic Seal, engraved on Sard, and on a 

small Collection of Babylonian Inscribed Cylinders, . . 94 

On an Ancient Bronze Bracelet, of Torque Pattern, obtained in 

Co. Galway, 114 

The Aylesbury-road Sepulchral Mound, . . . .116 

Description of a Perforated Ball of Rock Crystal, stated to have 
been found in the Co. Meath. With Notes on Rock Crystal 
Globes or Spheres, ........ 290 

Ancient Cross-bow, or "Latch," obtained in Dublin, . . 298 

Description of a large Silver Plaque, commemorative of Martin 

Luther, at Wittenberg, A.D. 1517, 300 

Description of a Series of Playing Cards of the Reign of Q,ueen 

Anne, 359 

Description of a " Shale Chark," found in Dublin, . . . 364 
On Three Bronze Celts from the Co. Mayo, . . . .417 
On an Early Ecclesiastical Seal of Silver, inscribed with the 

name of Maurice Hollachan, ...... 445 

On the Dublin Stocks and Pillory, 456 

On a Bronze Cooking Vessel, found in a Bog near Kells, . 461 

On a Brass Matrix of an Augustinian Seal, &c. (Plate XXIY.), 465 

Gakstin, John Ribton, M.A. 

On some Sixteenth Century Inscriptions in Leighlin Cathedral, 

Co. Carlow. (Plates XX. and XXI.), . . . .424 

Gkaves, Right Rev. Charles, D.D., &c. 

Remarks on an Ogham Monument, with some Introductory 

Remarks thereon by Siit, S. Ferguson, .... 279 

On the Identification of the Proper Names appearing on two 

Monuments bearing Ogham Inscriptions, .... 283 

Ingkam, John K., LL.D., F.T.C.D. 

On a Fragment of an ante-Hieronymian Version of the Gospels 

in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, .... 22 
On two Collections of Mediceval Moralized Tales, . . .129 
On the Earliest English Translation of the "De Imitatione 
Christi," 145 

List of the Contributors. vii 

KiNAHAN, G. Henet, M.R.I.A. page. 

On Inscribed Stones in tlie Co. Mayo, 17 

Sepulcliral and other Prehistoric Relies, Counties of Wicklow 

and Wexford. (Plates VIII. and IX.), . . . .152 

Megalithic Structures, Counties of Wicklow and Carlow. (Plates 

IX., X., and XI.), 161 

Inscribed Stones in the County of Donegal. (Plate XIX.), . 271 

On Lough Betha, County of Donegal, 472 

{See also Usshee.) 

Knowles, W. J. 

Prehistoric Implements found in the Sandhills of Dundrum in 

the County of Down, . . . . . . . .105 

Flint Instruments from the Raised Beach at Larne and other 
parts of the North-East Coast of Ireland. (Plates XIV. and 
XV.), 209 

Flint Implements from the North-East of Ireland. (Plates 

XXII. and XXIIL), 436 

MacAlistee, Alexandee, M.D., F.Pt.S. 

On a Cone of User-ha, In the Museum of Trinity College, 

Dublin, 24 

On a Funereal Cone, bearing an Inscription of Tirhakah, . 26 

Notes on a Mummy in the possession of Lord J. Butler, . . 253 

On a Monument of Paxi in the Museum of Science and Art, 

Dublin. (Plates XVI. and XVII.), 263 

Egyptological Notes, No. I., On a Series of Scarabaei. (Plate 

XVIIL), 269 

M'Henet, Alexanbee. 

Crannogh of Lough-na-Cranagh, Fair Head, Co. Antrim, . 462 

Eeport on the Explorations at White Park Bay, Ballintoy, . 463 
MuEPHT, Rev. Denis, S.J. 

Account of an Ancient Manuscript History of Holy Cross Abbey, 
Co. Tipperary, called " Triumphalia Chronoligica Monasterii 
Sanctae Crucis," ........ 409 

On two Sepulchral Urns found, in June, 1885, in the South 

Island of Arran, 476 

Olden, Rev. Thomas, M.A. 

On some Ancient Remains at Kilmaclenine, with Illustrations 
from the "PipaColmani." (Plates VI. and VII.) , . . 119 

On the Geography of Res Ailithir, 219 

On the Culebath, 355 

Plunkett. Thohas. 

On an Ancient Settlement found about Twenty-one Feet beneath 
the Surface of the Peat in the Coal-bog near Boho, County 
Fermanagh. (Plate II.), ....... 66 

On some Sepulchral Remains found at Killicarney, County 

Cavan, . , , . 71 

viii List of the Contributors. 

PuESEE, Lotus C, M.A., F.T.C.D. page. 

Oa a London MS. of Cicero's Letters, 366 

Reeves, Eight Rev. Willii:j:, D.D. 

Observations upon a Letter fromtlie late Jolin Forster, presented 

to tKe Academy by the Lord Bistiop of Killaloe, . . 4 

SiiYTHE, Williajj: Baelow, M.A. 

On tbe Bell from Lougb Lene, in the Academy's Museum. 

(Plate XII.), 164 

Stoeiis, Maegaeet (Hon. Mem. R.I.A.) 

Inquiry as to the Probable Date of the Tara Brooch and Chalice 

found near Ardagh, ........ 451 

UssHEE, R. J. ; Adams, A. Leith, M.D., F.R.S. ; and Kijtahai^, G. H. 

Report of the Explorations of Ballynamintra Cave, Cappagh, 

near Dungarvan, . . . . . . . .73 

UssHEE, R. J. ; and Ejxahan, Gt. H. 

On a Submarine Crannog at Ardmore, County "Waterford. 

(Plate I.), 61 

Wood-Maetln", Coloi^l "W. G-. 

Description of a Crannog Site in the County Meath, . . 480 


(polite literature and antiquities.) 



Paet 1. 

1 to 20, November, 1879. 

21 „ 72. December, 1880. 

73 „ 112. December, 1881. 

113 ,, 204. January, 1883. 

205 „ 278. January, 1884. 

279 ,, 346. January, 1885. 

347 „ 450. January, 1886. 

451 ,, 516. January, 1888. 





I. — On a Passage i:^ the " Coistfessio Pateicii." By Sru Samuel 
Pergusoi^', LL. D., Q. C. 

[Read April 28, 1879]. 

THE copy of the " Confessio " in the " Book of Armagh" purports 
to have been transcribed from an older book written by Saint 
Patrick with his own hand, and is justly regarded as the most authen- 
tic text of that document. In two places the scribe intimates by mar- 
ginal notes that the original is uncertain. The second of these occurs 
at fol. 23 r. col. 1, liaes 18, 19, where the difficulty appears to be 
caused by a word or words not understood by the transcriber, and 
which he presents as terminating one line and commencing another, 
thus : — 


There is nothing to show whether the " ex " is a separate particle 
or whether it is not one of the components of a single word to be read 
as " exagallias." The Bodleian text (Fell. 1), which is next in 
authority to the " Book of Armagh," omits the " a," and presents the 
vocable as one word, " exgallias." Fell. 3 (also in the Bodleian) has it 
in two words, "ex gallicis." These resemblances of sound, which, 
if Gaul were really indicated, would contribute some support to one 
of the theories of St. Patrick's birth-place, have led to much canvass- 
ing of the meaning. The general disposition has been to take the 
words as two, and to accept the expression as having Gaul and some 
relation of the writer or of his brethren with that country, in view. 

SER, ir., VOL. 11., POL. LIT. AND ANTIQ. Ji 

2 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

To reconcile this idea with the accusative form of " Gallias " it has 
been surmised that the terminal "ex" of the 18th and the initial 
'' a " of the 19th line should be read together, so as, with the addition 
of an interposed suggested " tr," to make up the word '' extra." But 
it would, I believe, be a singularity in Irish paleography, which has 
a regular contraction for "tra," if a terminal "a" were needlessly 
carried to the beginning of a new line, and a surmised "tr" at the 
end of the other left to be supplied by the reader's imagination. The 
text of the MS. affords no ground for the supposition ; and, indeed, 
unless " obitus," in the passage which it is now time to present in 
extenso, could be read in the sense of its opposite " exitus," it is hard 
to see how any consistent meaning could be extracted, even by that 
process. The writer is speaking of the obligation cast upon him by 
the mercies of which he had been the object : — 

" Oportet .... sine repre- 
hensione periculi notum facere donum 
Dei et ejus consulationem seternam sine ti 
more fiducialiter Dei nomen ubique ex 
pandere, ut etiam post obitum meum ex 
agallias relinquere fratribus et filiis meis 
quos in Domino ego baptizavi tot milia ho 

"It behoves me, regardless of danger, to make known the gift 
of God, and his everlasting consolation, without fear faithfully to 
spread abroad everywhere the name of God, so as also even after 
my death to leave [these] so many thousands of men " ex agallias" 
to my brethren and sons whom I have baptized in the Lord." 
"What, then, is 

agallias " ? 

Let us first examine if it be one word or more. It certainly is not 
" extra Gallias " ; for, in addition to what is above observed, the "a" 
and the " gallias " are not graphically disconnected ; on the contrary, 
they are written in clear graphic continuity. Now, there is no such 
word, so far as I know, as " agallias," even supposing its accusative 
form capable of reconcilement with the antecedent "ex." Hence arises 
a cogent inference that " exagallias " is one word, divided by the 
scribe, just as in the next line above he has divided " expandere." 
Being an accusative, as well as " tot milia hominum," and there being 
but the one verb, " relinquere," to govern both, we may infer next, 
with considerable confidence, that the meaning is that the writer 
should, after his death, leave these thousands of men to his brethren 
and children in the Lord as " exagallise," whatever that may be. 
Now, the word " exagellae" is used by an ecclesiastical author who, 
during part of his lifetime, was cotemporary with our Patrick, and 
who wrote shortly after that holy person's death, in a sense which 

Ferguson — On a Passage in the " Confessio Patricii." 3 

seems to point to its proper interpretation here. Ennoclius, -wlio was 
consecrated bishop of Pavia, a. d. 510, has this passage in his life of 
Epiphanius, his predecessor in the See: — " Mnguido aere, et quali 
solent homines ad tecta confugere, Kavennam egressus est, et per 
omnes ^milise civitates celer venit, tanqnam ad sepulchri receptacu- 
lum properans, omnibus sacerdotibus in itinere positis munificus, com- 
munis, affabilis, et quasi exagellam relinquens se ipso prsestantior." — 
(Ennod. " Yita Epiphanii," p. 413.) 

That is : — " In snowy weather, such as wherein men rather seek 
the shelter of their houses, he left E,avenna, and rapidly visited the 
several cities of the JEmilian province, as if hastening to the resting- 
place of the tomb, to all the clergy located in his way munificent, 
free, affable, and, excelling himself, leaving them, as it were [his] 
' exaggella.' " 

Here we observe that the " exagallise " of the Book of Armagh and 
the " exagellse " of Ennodius are equally applied to something to be left 
after death ; and looking to the meaning of "exagellse," as we find 
it in Du Cange, " trutina, seu potius quota pars quae unicuique 
haeredum ex successione obvenit ; legitima pars haeredis cum aliis ve- 
luti ad exagiuni exsequata," find a remarkable concurrence of reasons 
for adopting its secondary sense of "a legacy, or distributive share of 
one's goods after death," as the meaning to be ascribed to it in the 
"Life of Epiphanius," and to its kindred vocable " exagalliae" in the 
" Confessio " of Patrick. 

Du Cange cites another example of the word in the expression, to 
enjoy property or to leave it " titulo exagillario," where he suggests 
" legendum exagellario." Perhaps, if he had had before him this pas- 
sage of the "Book of Armagh," he would have written " exagallario," 
in analogy to the " exgalatio," which he also cites in the meaning of 
" owelty" or equality of partition amongst co-heirs (Du C. ad verb.) 

I do not enter on the question whether the "exagella" of Enno- 
dius and the " exgalatio " just referred to be derived from k^ayov, a 
balance, or from the same root which has given us the Latin " sequalis," 
and the French " egal "; but I fancy enough has been shown to justify 
the conclusion that the " exgalliae " of the Bodleian copy, and the 
" exagallise " of the Book of Armagh, are in effect the same word, 
and in both cases signify legacy, bequest, inheritance. 

The passage, then, would read, "so as also after my death, to 
leave as a legacy to my brethren and sons whom I have baptized in 
the Lord, these so many thousands of men"; recalling the Scripture 
which, having regard to what had already been said of his having 
been sent " etiam usque ad ultimum terrae," I think I may now say 
was probably in the mind of the writer : — "Ask of me, and I shall 
give thee the Heathen for an inheritance, and the uttermost ends of 
the earth for a possession." 

Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 



Yery Rev. William Reetes, D. D., Dean of Ai-magh. 
[Bead May 26, 1879]. 

The titles of the Bishops of Clonmacnois and of Cloyne as occurring 
in old records are undistinguishable, inasmuch as each was designated 
Cluanensis Episco]}u&, from the first element in the compound names of 
their dioceses — Clonmacnois being Ctu^in m^ccti tloi-]", "meadow 
of the sons of J^os" ; and Cloyne being CtuAin UAmA, "meadow 
of the caye" ; so that in Latin documents there is no possibility, 
without circumstantial evidence, of determining which is intended. 

Two other dioceses in Ireland have Latin names which approach 
very nearly to this ambiguity — so nearly as occasionally to lead ex- 
ternal writers into some ugly historical blunders. Derry, originally 
*0^i]\e C^tjAi^, " quercetum Calgachi," and Kildare, originally 
Cilt ■o^]\A., " Cella querceti," gave to their Bishops respectively, in 
Latin, the titles of Berensis Episcopiis and Darensis Episcopus — the 
words Berensis and Darensis being adjectives of the same noun, "O-Miie, 
only that in the case of 1I)A.i]\e C^ljAi^, the word 'OAi]Ae being in 
the nominative has its first syllable short, as represented by Derry or 
Dairy ; while in the case of Citt •OA'pA, the same noun, being in the 
genitive, the first syllable had a broader pronunciation, thus giving 
rise to the distinction of Berensis and Barensis. English writers who 
discuss Irish history, especially such as undertake to deal with Irish 
names, in editing works which involve the consideration of topogra- 
phy, are in great danger of falling into a trap in this as in many like 
instances, and therefore require more information and caution than 
they are generally found to possess. 

I take as an example the manner in which the late John Porster, 
in his Life of Sivift,'^ through an endeavour to find amidst a great 
mass of miscellaneous materials some new thing, shifts a simple 
transaction from the province of Leinster to that of Ulster, and lays 
himself open to well-merited censure. 

In an autobiographical sketch which Swift commenced, and which 
his friend Dr. John Lyon, under his inspection, enlarged, we find the 
following statement: — "In the year 1694 he was admitted into 
Deacon's orders and Priest's orders, by Dr. 'William Moreton, Bishop 
of Kildare, who ordained him Priest at Christ Church, the 13th 
January that year."^ Swift had his Letters of Orders by him, and 
Dr. Lyon, who of all men was the most conversant with the annals of 
Christ Church, whereof Bishop Moreton was Dean, and was a most 

1 The Life of Sicift. By John Forster. vol. i. Lond. 1875. 

2 Ibid., p. 15. 

Eeeves — On a Letter of John Fonter^s. 5 

accurate archivist, was not likely to err in so simple a matter. Dr. 
William Moreton was Bishop of Kildare from 1681 to 1705, when he 
was translated to Meath, so that his episcopate in Kildare amply- 
covered the period of Swift's ordination, and during this time he was 
Darensis Efi&copus. 

Tet Forster, in a note upon the passage above quoted, observes : — 
"Swift knew of this insertion ; but his Orders both of Dean and Priest 
were undoubtedly conferred by King, then Bishop of Derry. The 
original parchments came into the hands of Mr. Monck Mason, at 
whose sale I bought them many years ago, and they are still in my 
possession."^ Further on in the work the biographer states, in the 
substance of the narrative : — "His Deacon's Orders date the 28th of 
October; his Priest's are dated the 13th January, 1694-5; and into 
both he was ordained by King, Bishop of Derry, afterwards Archbishop 
of Dublin."* 

No doubt King was Bishop of Derry at this date, for he filled that 
See from 1690 to 1702 ; and no doubt he was William King also,® and 
thus at the required date was JEpiscopus Derensis. Strange to say, 
Mr. Monck Mason, the able compiler of that admirable work, the 
History of St. Patricli's Cathedral, who was at the time in possession 
of Swift's Letters of Orders, while correcting Sir Walter Scott as to 
the date of Swift's ordinations, commits the unaccountable error of 
saying " he was ordained into both [orders] by William King, bishop 
of Derry. "^ Forster, whose biographical obligations were, in the case 
of Swift, as great to Mason as they were, in the case of Goldsmith, to 
Prior, caught at this statement as a correction of Swift himself ; and 
thus paid the penalty of being wise above what was written. 

It happened that when the present Bishop of Killaloe was Arch- 
deacon of Kildare, a dealer in old books and papers offered for sale 
a parchment document which Dr. Fitzgerald recognized as a Subscrip- 
tion Poll of the diocese of Kildare, and which, having been recovered, 
was restored to its proper depository. While in his possession, he per- 
ceived among the signatures that of Thomas Wilson, afterwards the 
celebrated Bishop of Sodor and Man ; and further on, in his firm and 
unmistakeable hand, that of Jonathan Swift, as ordained by Gulielnms 
Darensis Episcopus. After the lapse of many years, namely, in 1875, 
Mr. Forster's book appeared, and the Bishop of Killaloe, observing the 
misstatements above mentioned, wrote to the author to say that, when 
Archdeacon of Kildare, he had himself seen Swift's subscription in his 

' Life of Swift, note 2. I presume they are now preserved, among Mr. 
Forster's literary collections, in South Kensington Museum. 
* Ibid., p. 76. 

5 Shortly after his promotion to the episcopate, he preached hefore William 111. 
at St. Patrick's, on which occasion his Majesty, on complimenting the preacher, 
said (what was with him exceptional) facetiously, " there is, after all, but little 
difference between me and you, for I am King William, and you are William 

6 History of St. Patrick's Cathedral, p. 235. 

6 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

hand on the Ordination E,oll of Kildare, and requested that he would 
look again at the Letters, being assured that he would find that the 
Bishop was described as Darenns, not Deriensis or JDerensis. In a 
communication which I received from his lordship in March last, he 
says, after mentioning the foregoing particulars: — "I send you his 
answer. It was one of the last letters the poor fellow ever wrote. 
May I ask yon to keep a copy for Armagh, and give the original to 
the Eoyal Irish Academy, that the evidence may be preserved when I 
am dead." 

In accordance, therefore, with his lordship's desire, I now present 
the Letter in his name, and take the opportunity of recording its con- 
tents : — 

''Palace Gate House, 

"Kensington "W., London, 

" Will January, 1876, 
"My Lord, 

" You are undoubtedly right; and I am deeply indebted to 
you for having written to me. 

" I fell into the very error you point out in unwisely correcting 
my corrector. 

" I have referred to the parchments in my possession (endorsed 
respectively by Swift himself, ' Oct. 25, 1694, Letters of Orders for 
Deacon'; and 'Jan. 13, 1694, Letters of Orders for Priest'), and 
find that the word beyond all question is Darensis — Gulielmus provdld 
did Darensis EpUs. 

" The correction shall be made as soon as may be. 
" I repeat my thanks, and with much respect beg you to believe 

"My Lord Bishop, 

" Most truly yours, 

"John Foestee. 
" The Loed Bishop of ]^llaloe." 


Frazer — On a Bronze Medallion. 7 

III. — On a Beonze' Medallion of the "Deliveey op Antweep in 
1577," being one oe a series engeated in "Pateia Libeetati 
Restituta," and ee-published by Sie Wm. Stieling Maxwell. 
By W. Feazee, F.R.C.S.I., M.E.I.A. 

[Eead May 26, 1879.] 

The last contribution made by Sir Wm. Stirling Maxwell to art and 
history is his splendid illustrated folio work of Antwerp Delivered in 
1577: A passage from the History of the Troulles in the Netherlands. 
This book was printed in Edinburgh, and fronting the title-page is an 
announcement of the death of Sir William at Yenice on January 15, 
1878, whilst his work was passing through the press. If he were 
still living, the materials for the present communication would have 
been submitted to him and placed at his disposal. 

The book is illustrated with copies of borders, old initial letters, 
facsimiles of designs and maps, and especially with engravings after 
Merten de Yos and FraDzHogenberg. Now it is with the series attri- 
buted to De Yos that I wish this evening to deal. They consist of a fron- 
tispiece of portraits which, from having no artist's name affixed, and 
being dated in 1579, is judged to be of somewhat later execution than 
the series of seven designs to which it serves as an introduction. These 
seven plates commemorate the successful plot of Charles de Redelghem, 
Baron of Leiderkerch, and Civil Governor of Antwerp, Captain Pontus 
de Noyelles, Seigneur of Bours, and William Bouck, Receiver-General 
of Royal Domains in Brabant, to seize the Castle of Antwei-p for the 
Estates, and the consequent demolition of part of that fortress, events 
which took place from the 1st to the 23rd of August, 1577. 

The first of this series of illustrations is dated in 1578, and is signed 
at top MEETEN de vos. IN. The name of the engraver of the plates is 
not given, and their ascription must be doubtful. Alvin, in his Cata- 
logue of the works of the three brothers Wierx, published in Brussels 
in 1866, claims them as the handiwork oi these industrious and skil- 
ful artists, though he does not venture to attribute them to any one of 
the three brothers in particular. Again, in the Atlas Sistorique Bru- 
gulin (Leipsic, 186 it s suggested that they proceeded from the 
Burin of Adriaan Coiiaer., and they have considerable resemblance to 
his workmanship. So far as ' e printer^ ^ the plates are concerned, 
they took care to be better k own. Th>. /e are two editions ; the first 
issued by Peeter Baltens at Antwerp, and the second has for its printer's 
address " Amstelodami, Franciscus Hoeius, excud." 

Merten de Yos, to whom the designs are attributed, was son of an 
artist, Peter de Yos. He was born at Antwerp in 1531, and was, 
therefore, about forty-six years of age when the attempt was made to 
seize the citadel. He was trained in art by his father and by Franz 
Floris, and afterwards studied in Italy, under Tintoret, for whom he is 
said to have painted the back-ground of several of his pictures. On 
his return to the ISTetherlands, he painted numerous religious pieces 
and portraits distinguished for their truth and spirit. He excelled in 
allegorical representations such as are displayed in the fancy designs 

8 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

■whicli accompany and enrich the present series of historical illustrations, 
and add so much to their artistic interest. He was rather prolific in 
his compositions, for upwards of 600 of them were engraved by the 
Collaerts, De Parre, Hogenberg, the brothers Wierx, the Sadelers, 
Goltzius, and Galle. 

Let me direct attention to the second plate of the series. Its his- 
tory is, that on the first day of August, 1577, the company of Captain 
de Blois, Seigneur of Treslong, is chased from the citadel of Antwerp 
by the other three companies which formed the "Walloon garrison ; this 
action is represented in a circular medallion, and ornamented as if 
framed, having emblematic figures of Foresight and Constancy above 
the medal ; broken manacles hang at the sides, and underneath are for- 
cible Dutch verses describing and commemorating the event. 

Now a few years ago a splendid bronze medallion or plaque, cast 
as all such medals are, fell into my possession, which accurately repre- 
sents this circular medallion of ]3e Yos. It is of the same size, and 
the few trifling differences between it and the engraving show that the 
latter was copied from this medal, and indeed is a very close copy in 
every respect. I was unaware of the real importance, or even historical 
value, of this medal, until I chanced to discover it in Sir W. S. 
Maxwell's book ; and greater still was my astonishment to fijid that 
Sir W. Maxwell himself, who appeared to have exhausted every pro- 
bable source of information, was utterly unaware of the existence 
of this important historical record. It is the undoubted original 
whence the medallic centre of the engraving commonly attributed to 
De Yos is derived, and is consequently one of a set of medals of 
which I fear the rest of the series have unfortunately perished, the 
only record of their existence being preserved in these plates. I am 
still ignorant by whom it and its lost companions were designed ; and 
the name of the patriot artist, who probably was an eye-witness of the 
scenes which he depicted, must for the present remain a mystery. It 
is possible they were the handiwork of De Yos himself. I am willing 
to admit his claim to the allegorical figures and accessory emblematic 
ornaments displayed for a framework around the engraved medals ; 
but the central work itself appears to me to point to other hands and 
diflterent style of art. 

The conclusion I have arrived at is, that the series of seven plates 
which commemorate the delivery of Antwerp are undoubted copies 
engraved from a set of medals, or rather medallic plaques, much 
esteemed at the time when De Yos must have delineated them, and 
considered these patriotic designs of sufficient historical and artistic im- 
portance to require special allegorical illustration fi'om his hand, and 
a series of descriptive verses in their praise and explanation ; and I 
have the pleasure of exhibiting to the Academy, in proof of this con- 
clusion, the solitary example of these grand medals so far as we can 
ascertain, that has escaped destruction, and to claim for its as yet un- 
known designer the honour of having conceived and executed a series 
of brilliant, spirited pictures in metal, that have seldom been equalled 
in medallic art. 

Frazer — On an Early Irish Harp. 

IV.— ONAiiEAULYlRisHHAiiP. By Wji. Fea^ek, F.E.C.S.I.,M.R.I.A. 
"With an Illustration. 

[Read May 26, 1879.] 

The Irish liarp which I now exhibit to the Eoyal Irish Academy 
came, through chance, into my possession a few years ago. I regret it 
is impossible to trace its previous history beyond the statement of the 
Jl^erson from whom I procured it, that it was purchased at a sale in 
^■me gentleman's house in the country, where it was kept as an orna- 
ment in the hall, and that he was told it had been so preserved for 
several years. 

When Herr Sjoden, the distinguished professor of harp music, 
lately visited Dublin, to perform on his favourite instrument during 
the celebration of the " lloore Centenary," I had an opportunity of 
showing this harp to him, and it was from the special interest he took 
in it that I am induced to exhibit it this evening. He was attracted by 
its classic shape and the elegance of its construction, and at once di- 
rected my notice to a peculiarity in the number of its strings, which I 
will mention afterwards. He considered it possibly an unique ex- 
ample of the hai'p in common use about the time of Elizabeth or early 
in the reign of James I., that is ascribing to it at least an antic|uity of 
250 years. At all events it deserves notice from its state of preser- 
vation, and is a good example of the small portable variety of Irish 
harp, such as we would suppose a native harper to carry with him in 
his travels through the country from castle to cottage ; and it is to 
the employment of instruments like this that the traditional know- 
ledge of our ancient Irish airs must have owed their transmission 
from distant ages. 

The striking and handsome shape of this harp is well exhibited in 
the accompanpng woodcut from a drawing, made for me through the 
kindness of my friend ilr. Thomas Long-field. The instniment rises 
from an oblong pediment serving as a base, and which measures Ill- 
inches broad by rather more than 6 inches wide. It varies in depth from 
2^ inches at the front to 2 inches behind, sinking gradually from the 
front backwards. The harp itself reaches to a further elevation of 
28 inches above this pediment or base, measured to the loftiest point 
of its upper arm, which forms a graceful double curve. The main 
pillar of the instrument is 27 inches high ; on its posterior surface 
are two sounding-holes of rather large size and of heart shape : the 
loles on the sound-board are protected from injury, by overstretching 
of the harp-string, by the simple device of a curved piece of metal 
wire inserted at the upper edge of each sound-hole. There are 
twenty-six of these holes, and on the upper arm are twenty-six 
keyholes, and a similar number of metal pins or pegs for straining 
the wires and keeping them in tension : the keys themselves are 
wanting. The front pillar, which presents a curve of pleasing out- 



Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

line, is carved in its centre in rather rude and primitive pattern, but 
it ends in the claw of an animal, which, from the spirited mode of its 
representation, forms a suitable termination to the pillar. In the 
Catalogue of Musical Instruments, published by the South Kensington 
Museum, and edited by Carl Engel, there is an engraving of an early 
harp, taken from the manuscript of the monastery of St. Blasius, in 
which the front pillar of the harp is terminated by a claw, very 
similar to that now figured, which attaches it to the lower part of 
the instrument. 

The number of strings in this harp, shown by the key-holes, by 
the straining-pegs, and by the holes in the sound-board, was twenty- 
six only. According to Sir W. Ferguson the Irish harp was " usually 
strung with thirty strings, being a compass from C to D in alt, com- 

Frazer — On an Early Irish Harp. 11 

prising the tones included between the highest pitch of the female 
voice and the lowest of the male, being the natural limits within 
which to construct the scale of an instrument intended to accompany 
vocal performances." 

The highly ornamented and celebrated harp which is preserved in 
the museum of Trinity College, and usually called the harp of Brian 
Boru, but which has been stripped by modem investigators of its ro- 
mantic antiquity, and is now considered to have belonged to some 
distinguished person of the tribe of the O'IS'eils, whose armorial bear- 
ings it displays, was supposed, through some error, to have only twenty- 
eight strings. Dr. George Petrie, in his examination of it, found 
there were thirty tuning pins and corresponding string-holes, which 
would appear to be the average number. This harp is well known 
for its beautiful decorative carving ; it measures thirty-two inches in 

The Gardyn harp, described in popular belief as the harp of Mary, 
Queen of Scots, is also described by Petrie as having thirty strings ; 
and, from his scrupulous accuracy, this is probably correct. However, 
in a recently published Cyclopaedia on musical matters, I find that 
twenty-eight strings are mentioned as being the exact number. 

This far more humble harp which I here endeavour to describe 
belongs to a different class of instrument. It is plain and simple 
in its construction, though possessing great beauty of form and grace- 
fulness. It was not intended for great ecclesiastics or the hands of 
wealthy nobles, but for the daily use of the wandering bard. "What I 
have said of its construction is simple matter of description ; still there 
appears to have once been some additional figure or ornament at the 
upper part of the front pillar ; what this might be is mere conjecture. 
Upon the Irish silver coins of the first James the harp is represented 
with the ornament of a bird's head, and it is allowable for us to supply 
a similar device where it seems deficient ; or we may prefer a more 
graceful female head, such as figures on the copper Irish coinage of 
Charles II., and upon the succeeding copper coiaages of our kings ; it 
is equally probable and at least better looking than the head of the 
bird, for an ornamental termination to the pillar. 

i2 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

V. — On a BuoifZE Bell akd Sctjlpttjeed Head op Stone, and othee 
Antiquities found in tee Chukch of Knockatempul, Co. Wicklow. 
Described by W. Fkazek, F.E.C.S.I., M.R.I.A. With an Illus- 

[Read May 26, 1879]. 

Me. Henry Keogh, of Round wood House, Co. Wicklow, made some 
time ago a careful exploration of the old ruined church of Knocka- 
tempul, and by his kind permission I am enabled to lay before the 
Academy the result of his discoveries there, which are of considerable 
interest. This church is situated in the parish of Newcastle, Co. 
Wicklow, near Eoundwood, and in the vicinity of the Vartry "Water 
Reservoir, There appear to be no reliable records of its foundation 
or destruction, which is so complete that its walls were level to the 
ground, and what remained of it required to be cleared out of clay and 
rubbish for two or three feet before the flooring was reached. It must 
have been a large building, 50 feet long and 26 feet wide, with 
two side aisles 9 feet wide in the clear, and 26 feet in length, which 
from the plan may have been of later erection than the church itself. 
It was disposed east and west, and the door, which was on the south 
side, was 4 feet in width. The aisles as well as the central portion 
of the church were paved with large flat stones, and in one of the 
aisles to the northward was what Mr. Keogh conjectures to be the 
remains of a stone altar situated in the east of the building ; but he 
could flnd no trace of an altar in the body of the church itself. Un- 
derneath the pavement of both the aisles he found rude stone en- 
closures for sepulchres, composed of flagstones containing human 
remains, and in one of them was a rough stone hammer which I have 
not seen. 

The church walls were composed of undressed field stones imbed- 
ded in hard mortar, a few of the stones having their corners roughly 
hammered ; the doors and windows appear to have been dressed with 
a yellowish freestone, similar to the material in which the head now 
exhibited is carved. Mr. Keogh fancied that the freestone work might 
possibly be later than the original building, but this seems doubtful. 

The large square-shaped bronze bell, which is also shown, mea- 
sures 12 inches high, and 8 inches across. It was found at the east 
end of the church, about two feet under the surface, near the posi- 
tion the altar would occupy. It had a handle, which was broken 
off by the workmen in excavating it, and which I understand is 
forthcoming. They also damaged one part of the top of the bell with 
a pickaxe. Mr. Keogh has polished a corner of it, and it consists of 
fine bronze made in two portions, the halves being rivetted together. 

The head carved in freestone is a work of good execution, and is 
very interesting from the disposition of the hair and tonsure. The 

Frazer — On a Bronze Bell and Sculptured Head of Stone. 13 

front hair hangs down in quantity over the forehead, cut straight 
across ; behind, it hangs in ample ringlets on the neck ; and the ton- 
sure would appear to have been a narrow strip along the vertex, run- 
ning from before backwards, not above half an inch in width. It 
was found at the east end of the church, and to the left (north) of the 
situation for an altar. In front of this altar site two bodies were 
discovered with their heads to the south and limbs northwards, 
their skulls touching, interred about four feet under the pavement, 
and covered over with a layer of lime. 


I am indebted to Mr. Thomas Longfield for the above drawing 
of the stone head. 

Mixed with the clay and rubbish that lay over the pavement of 
the church floor, were several portions of human skeletons confusedly 
interred ; with them was some broken pottery, now in the Academy's 
Museum, and low down on the floor were irregular heaps of charcoal 
scattered about. On the skeleton of one man, whose bones were of large 
size, lay a stone of about 2 cwt. ; his body and limbs appeared doubled 


14 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

up, and about the vicinity of the thigh-bone two coins were disco- 
vered, one of them an EngUsh penny of Henry III., mint mark 
"■ Eobert on Canterbury" ; the other a Scottish penny of Alexander II., 
with long double cross, lOHAiir on" — , probably a Perth coin, not rare, 
and belonging to his last coinage. 

The other finds shown to the Academy were : — 

IS^o. 1. A portion of a glass patera, much irised by oxidation. 

ISTo. 2. A button core of mica schist. 

IS^o. 3. A fragment of copper with some wood, evidently part of 
the binding of a book. 

'^0. 4. A polished elongated bead of bone or ivory. 

E"o. 5. The bowl of a bronze spoon. 

]S"o. 6. A bronze clasp or hook of remarkable construction, of 
fish-hook shape, with a bronze tongue forming a spring. 


Ferguson — On a Passage in the " Confessio Fatricii." 15 

YI. — On a Passage in the " Confessio Pateicii." (No. II.) By 
Sib Samuel Peegtjson, LL.D., Q.C. 

[Eead June 23, 1879.] 

Proceeding with tlie passage in which I ventured, at a recent Meet- 
ing of the Academy, to assign a meaning to " exagallias," the writer 
of the " Confessio," as we find it in the " Book of Ai-magh," goes on 
as follows : — " Et non eram dignns neqne talis ut hoc dominus servulo 
suo concederet post erumnas et tantas moles post captivitatem post 
annos multos in gentem illam tantam gratiam mihi donaret quod Ego 
aHquando in Juventute mea nunquam speravi neque cogitavi sed post- 
quam hiberione deveneram Cotidie itaque pecora pascebam et fre- 
quens in die orabam magis etmagis accedebat timer dei," &c. 

Here are two sentences, one conversant with the writer's state be- 
fore his captivity, the other contrasting with that, his condition after 
his arrival in Ireland (hiberio). 

All the translators so accept them ; but all, so far as I know, 
adopt the word " cogitavi " as the end of the one, and the word " sed" 
as the beginning of the other. In this division, the sense of the 
whole would run thus : — " Neither was I worthy, nor such a one as 
that the Lord should vouchsafe this to his poor servitor, after hard- 
ships and burthens so great, after captivity, after many years [spent] 
in that nation, should bestow upon me such a grace as I erewhile in 
my youth never hoped for nor thought of. But after I had come into 
Ireland [as] daily "itaque," I fed my flocks and often in the day 
prayed, the fear of God did more and more come near to me," &c. I 
have left the " itaque" of the original untranslated; for, whether it 
be rendered "therefore," or "and so," or "however," the sequence 
of predication, in this division of the paragraph, will be equally em- 
barrassed, and an expression proper to the introduction of a train of 
thought will appear needlessly intruded into the continuation of it. 
Taking " itaque" in the sense of an initiatory particle, as it is com- 
monly used, it certainly imports a commencement of the sentence at 
" Cotidie," which would leave "sed postquam in hiberione deveneram " 
to form part of the preceding sentence. The form of the text oifers a 
considerable inducement to this division, instead of that adopted by 
the translators. The scribe has used no punctuation ; but he fre- 
quently, though not always, distinguishes the commencements of sen- 
tences by the use of capital initials; and "Cotidie" here is so 
written. In some instances, indeed, he employs the capital out of 
place, and the beginnings of many sentences he leaves undistin- 
guished ; but when he does employ the capital, it is so generally 
where it ought to be, that a presumption arises that it was not put 
here without reason. He also sometimes indicates sentence-division 
by a wider space between the terminal and initial words ; and, in this 
particular case, he has left a noticeable vacancy between "devene- 
ram" and "Cotidie." 

16 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

The older Bodleian text (Fell. 1) gives no assistance in the way 
either of punctuation, distinguishing capitals, or of discriminatory 
spacing; but instead of "itaque" it has "igitur," the equivalent of 
"itaque" in its initiatory force, and affords, though after a great 
lapse of time, Tvhat partakes of the character of cotemporanea expositio, 
in aid of the division after " deveneram." 

The later Bodleian MSS. (Fell. 3) offer the assistance of a semi- 
comma, and go to support the foregoing conclusions, by placing it 
after "deveneram." 

Taking the division there, and giving " itaque " its proper force, 
the second sentence "would read: — "[As] daily, however, I fed my 
flocks, and often in the day prayed, the fear of God," &e. But the 
acceptance of this solution of the first difficulty necessitates the giving 
a different meaning to ''sed" in the antecedent matter. "Sed" is 
used in Latin only in its adversative sense. It never, so far as I 
know, has the meaning of prmter or nisi. In our own language, 
however, its equivalent "but" has a wider use. It signifies also 
"except," uniting the forces of the Latin "sed" and "nisi" and 
"pra}ter." An opinion exists that the English "but," in each of 
these meanings, is a separate word and of independent origin. We 
have, however, an example of the same forces co-existing in the Irish 
aclit, which regularly means "but" adversatively, as well as "save," 
"unless," or " except." JN'o one has thought of providing two roots 
for acM, as has been done, or supposed to be done, for the English 
"but," and acht may be taken for the purposes of this inquiry, apart 
from any question of etymology, as a Celtic particle, in translating 
which into Latin, in the case of one not well skilled in the latter 
language, the word "sed" would probably suggest itseK as a full 
equivalent to it in either of its meanings. Treating the text on this 
hypothesis, and remembering the writer's apology for the rudeness of 
his endeavours to express his native speech in an alien tongue — 
" nam lingua et loquela nostra translata est in linguam alienam, sicut 
facile potest probari ex aKve [ex saliva] scriptures mese "• — we find a 
rendering of the first sentence of the paragraph equally self-contained 
and apposite with that for which it is submitted as a substitute, 
while we leave the general meaning of the passage at large substan- 
tially unaltered, and the second sentence freed from all difficulty oc- 
casioned by its troublesome " itaque," viz. : — " Neither was I worthy 
nor such a one as that . . . the Lord should bestow upon me such a 
grace as I, at one time in my youth, never hoped for or thought of, 
except after I had come into Ireland. Daily, however, [as] I fed my 
flocks, and often in the day, prayed, the fear of God did more and 
more come near to me," &c. 

If this be so, we have grounds for surmising that at least one vo- 
cable of the native speech, out of which St. Patrick constructed those 
Latin sentences, belonged to some Celtic dialect not unlikely to be 
found among the Britons of Strathclyde, and for other traces of which 
we shall not be altogether unrewarded in a further examination of the 
" Confessio." 

KiNAHAN. — On Inscribed Stones, Co, Mayo. 


YII. — On foscEiBED Stones, County Mato. By G. Heney Kinahan, 
M.E.I.A., &c. (With lUustrations.) 

[Eead June 9, 1873.] 

The inscribed markings on tlie stones which form the subject of this 
commnnication evidently belong to one of the simpler divisions of a 
class to which attention has been already directed by various writers. 

On February 13, 1860, the Eight Eev. Charles Graves, D.D., 
Lord Bishop of Limerick, read a Paper before the Academy, on stones 
with somewhat similar inscriptions, which had been discovered by Mr. 
Eichard Hitchcock, the late Earl of Dunraven, Mr. Jermyn, the late 
Dr. Petrie, himself, and others \_Transactions, Eoyal Irish Academy, 
vol. xxiv. (Antiquities), p. 421]. Subsequently the late Mr. G. V. 
Du IS^oyer, and Dr. Conwell, figured and described the markings on 
the stones in the earns of Slieve-na-Cailliagh, Co. Meath. 

The late Mr. G. Tate, in 1853 and 1864, communicated to the 
Berwickshire ^Naturalists' Club two Papers on similar sculpturings in 

Fig. 1. 

Northumberland and the Eastern Borders, which appear in the Pro- 
ceedings of the Club, with illustrations. In Stuart's "Sculptured 
Stones of Scotland," vol. 1, plate cxxiii., and vol. 2, plate cxix., are 
given drawings of markings of the same class. The late Sir James 
Simpson, Bart., M.D., published in 1867 his. book on "Archaic 
Sculpturings of Cups, Circles, &c., upon Stones andEocks in Scotland, 
England, and other Countries." And in 1869 was published by 
direction of the late Duke of INorthumberland, " Incised Markings on 
Stone found in the Co. of Northumberland, Argyllshire, and other 
places," which magnificently illustrated work deals entirely with 
inscriptions belonging to this particular kind. 

The inscribed stones now to be mentioned were found four and 



Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

KiNAHAN. — On Inscribed Stones, Co. Mayo. 


a-half miles E.S.E. from the summit of Croagli Patrick, Co. Mayo, 
between the old and the new roads from Westport to Leenane, a little 
south of Braekloon Wood, and close to the site of the ancient road called 
Togher Patrick. The pile or monument is called on the Ordnance maps 
" St. Patrick's Chair," and the markings " St. Patrick's knee marks." 
These were discovered while I was working in that part of the country 
on the Geological Survey, with my colleague Mr. E. G. Symes, who 
assisted in making the rubbings from them on linen, and who sub- 
sequently brought them before the notice of the British Association, 
at its Meeting in Edinburgh, in 1871. 

"St. Patrick's Chair" (Fig. 1) consists of a heap of stones. A large 
flattish one covers most of the surface of the pile : of the stones under 
it, some are lying flat, while others are on edge or end, but all form a 
solid mass which might easily be mistaken for a natural heap. The 
markings occur on several of the stones, and consist, for the most 
part, of variously-sized cup-shaped hollows, in places combined with 
circles, or parts of circles. 

Pig. 2 is a copy, on the scale of one inch to a foot, of a tracing 
which was made directly from the markings on the top stone. 

Fig. 3. 

Pig. 3 is a copy of the tracing from the south flag marked a on 
sketch (Pig. 1). 

Pig. 4 is a copy of the rubbing taken from the bottom of the seat- 
like place, "The Chair," to the south-east of the pile, marked h on 

20 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Fig. 5 is a copy of the rubbing showing the principal marks 
cut on the surface of the south-east flag, c on sketch. One of these 
last inscriptions is peculiar, and of a different type from any of the 
others on the monument. 

Fig. 5. 

Besides the inscriptions figured, there "were a few more scattered 
about on the rest of the surface of the south-east flag c, and others on 
the slab north of the chair, d on sketch, and on the upright stone 
marked e on sketch. These are the principal carvings, but scattered 
cups and circles can be found on all the stones that look east, south, 
or west ; while on those looking north none were observed. 

On examination of the Figures it will be seen that the inscriptions 
are essentially of tAvo types, cups and circles, there being only one 
exception to the rule ; that in no place are the circles and cups 
combined, or joined by straight, or nearly straight, lines, as is some- 
times the case in other examples of such sculpturings, and that the 
markings on "St. Patrick's Chair" are very similar to the inscriptions 
on the upright terminal stone on the south side of the passage in the 
great earn of Lough-Crew, figured in Dr. Conwell's Paper, "On the 
Cemetery of Taillten."* To me it seems possible that these characters 
may be intended for rude maps of the stars, the cups and associated 
circles representing the different magnitudes of the stars. However, 
against such a supposition it must be pointed out that in none of 
the plates will be found a figure like the Great Bear, a group of stars 
that would scarcely have been omitted from a representation of the 

It would seem that the stones of which "St. Patrick's Chair" is 
composed were not engraved, or carved, until after they were put 
together. It is impossible to say whether the structure was ever 
covered with earth, as the adjoining land is in cultivation, and has 
been so for many years, and it may possibly have been once in the 
centre of a earn or tuaim, the stones or earth of which have been 
removed; this, however, is quite conjectural. 

* Proceedings, vol. i., Ser. n., Polite Literatiire and Antiquities, p. 96, Fig. 6. 

KiNAHAN — On Inscribed Stones, Co. Mayo. 21 

In connexion with engraved stones, it may be interesting to point 
out that, on the rocks adjoining some of the villages of West Galway, 
but especially near Mannin Bay, there are rude sketches made by the 
young natives, generally representing ships and boats, or the setting 
sun ; the latter being very like one of the sketches taken by the late 
Mr. Gr. Y. Du Noyer of a figure on one of the stones near the site of 
the eastern earn of Slieve-na-Cailliagh, county of Meath. 

In connexion with " St. Patricks's Chair," it may be mentioned 
that Togher Patrick, with which it is associated, can be traced from 
the summit of Croagh Patrick, by Aughagower, through the Co. Mayo 
to, and beyond, the village of Balla. Adjoining this old road, or on 
the heights near it, there are standing stones {gallauns or laghts), 
many of which are locally called Clogh Patrick. Some of these were 
visited by myself, and others by Mr. Symes ; but on none of them did 
we observe any markings. These gallauns were evidently placed as 
signposts to direct travellers along the road : similar stones are found 
along the course of the old road from Kylemore Lake, Co. Galway, to 
the ruins of the ancient settlement at the S. E. end of Cleggan Bay ; 
and even at the present day, in the mountainous portions of Cork, 
Kerry, and Galway, I have found that wild mountainous paths are 
similarly marked out to direct the traveller when crossing flooded 
lands, morasses, or the like. 

In Moher Lough, which is one mile south of ''St. Patrick's Chair," 
there is an island which from the shore seems to be a crannog, but we 
were unable to visit it, not having a boat. 

In the glen, two miles S.W. of the lake, there seems to have 
been, at one time, a considerable settlement, as the ruins of numerous 
lisses or clay forts occur there, none of which, curiously enough, except 
one {Lisaphuca), are marked on the Ordnance maps. 


22 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


Gospels, in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. By J. K. 
IifGEAir, LL.D., Pellow and Librarian of Trinity College. 

[Read, January 26tli, 1880.] 

In a Paper read before this Academy on the 25th. of January, 1847, 
and afterwards published in the Proceedings (vol. iii. p. 374), the late 
Rev. J. H. Todd, L.D., gave an account of a fragment of an ancient 
purple vellum manuscript of the Gospels in Latin, which he had pui-- 
chased in Dublin some years before. 

The fragment was a single leaf containing a portion of the 1 3th 
chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Dr. Todd laid be- 
fore the Academy a Table containing the text of the fragment, with 
those of the same passage in the Codex Yercellensis and the Codex 
Veronensis, as printed in Bianehini, and also the corresponding text 
of the Yulgate. It thus appeared that the fragment was part of an 
ante-Hieronymian version of the Gospels, differing in some of its read- 
ings from one or other, or from both, of the above-named codices. 
Dr. Todd was of opirdon, from the forms of the letters and other indica- 
tions in the Manuscript, that it was written in the fourth, or the early 
part of the fifth century. 

In the Academy of the 1st of March, 1879, appeared a letter by 
Mr. T. Graves Law, stating that the fragment in question was a 
missing leaf of the Codex Palatinus, in the Imperial Library at Yienna, 
which was edited by Tischendorf in 1847. The writer added that, 
to the best of his knowledge, the leaf was no longer to be found, he 
having been unable to . obtain any information regarding it at the 
Library of Trinity College, Dublin, where, from Mr. Westwood's ac- 
count of it, in his PalccografMa Sacra Pictoria (1843-1845), it would 
seem to have been preserved. 

I do not remember to have read this letter in the Academy when 
it appeared, though it is possible I may have done so. But I was 
familiar with Dr. Todd's Paper in our Proceedings, and had a lively 
recollection of his account of the leaf. Accordingly, I had not been 
long Librarian of Trinity College when I inquii'ed about it, and 
learnt that Mr. Law was quite right in saying that it was not to be 
found. I was informed that, when a gentleman — presumably Mr. 
Law — had written respecting it in the time of the late Librarian, the 
answer had been returned that it was not forthcoming, and that it was 
not known what had become of it. On this, I represented to the 
Assistant Librarian, Mr. Thomas French, the importance of recoveiiag 
it, if possible. Mr. Prench's zeal and energy in matters of this kind 
are known to many members of the Academy. He instituted a careful 
search, and found the missing leaf in a part of the Library, where it 
would not naturally be looked for, ancl where it had probably been 

Ingram — On a Fragment of the Gospels. 23 

deposited by Dr. Todd until lie should have chosen a definitive place 
for it amongst the other manuscripts on the shelves. 

I need not say with what interest the leaf, when found, was ex- 
amined ; and the result of the examination is to establish the correctness 
of Mr. Law's statement that it is a fragment of the Codex Palatinus. 
That gentleman appears never to have seen the leaf, but formed his 
conclusion from a comparison of the descriptions of it given by Dr. 
Todd and Mr. Westwood with that of the Codex Palatinus given by 
Tischendorf. On a comparison of the leaf itself with Tischendorf's 
account of the codex, the truth is at once evident — they are found to 
agree in every, the most minute, particular. The preceding leaf of the 
codex ends with the words which in the text of the Gospel come im- 
mediately before those with which the Fragment commences. The 
half-leaf of the codex following the lost leaf has also disappeared, but 
the blank portion will be exactly filled by the portion of text inter- 
vening between the close of the Dublin fragment and the contents of 
the remaining half-leaf. In addition to the other points of corre- 
spondence, which I need not give in detail, as they are mentioned 
by Todd and "Westwood, I may notice a circumstance which seems to 
have escaped the observation of both those writers. The leaf presents 
on the top, at one side, part of the word " Secundum," and, at the 
other, part of the word " Mattheum," and the same heading is found 
in the codex also. The Rev. T. K. Abbott, Professor of Hebrew in 
the University of Dublin, will shortly publish a new edition of the 
celebrated Codex Eescriptus of St. Matthew's Gospel, commonly 
known as Z, preserved in the Library of Trinity College, with another 
Palimpsest in the same collection, and he will include in the volume 
a lithographed copy of the text of the leaf of the Codex Palatinus. 

The date assigned to the leaf by Dr. Todd is confirmed by the 
judgment of Tischendorf, who, in his edition of the codex, pronounces 
the latter to belong to the fourth or fifth century. Tischendorf was 
not aware of the existence of the Dublin fragment, though, after the 
pubKcation of his work, Mr. Law informed him of it. ISTeither Dr. 
Todd, when writing his Paper, nor Mr. Westwood (to whom Dr. Todd 
communicated the leaf) could have identified it as belonging to the 
Codex Palatinus, that codex not being published when they wrote. 

It remains a mystery how this fragment was detached from the 
codex to which it belonged. JSTothing is known as to the way in 
which the codex was acquired by the Library at Yienna : it was not 
there before the year 1800, and appears to have been first mentioned 
as being there in 1829 by Kopitar, the eminent Sclavouian scholar, 
Avho was custodian of the Library. Whether the leaf came from 
Yienna to Ireland, or the codex went from Ireland to Yienna, we 
have no means of determining. 

I have thought it right that the recovery of this valuable fragment, 
and the verification of its origin, should be first publicly made known 
in this Academy, where Dr. Todd had previously described it. 



Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

IX. — 0?r A Cone of Usee-ha, in the Museum of Trinity College, 
Dublin. By Alexander Macalistee, M.D., Professor of Anatomy, 
University of Dublin. 

[Read AprH 12th, 1880.] 

Among the very few genuine Egyptian remains in the Museum of 
Trinity College, I find a red clay cone of the usual pattern, whose 
inscription I desire to place on record. As to the circumstances under 
which it came into the Museum I know nothing, as there is no record 
of its source or presentation, and it has been in the collection for over 
forty years. 

The inscription reads — 

Ma;)(I ;)(EE, Asae 

Ab an pa ntjt Amen 

usee-ha sa an 


that is, "The devoted to Osiris, priest-scribe of the Treasury of 
Amen, User-ha, son of Treasury-scribe Nebuau." 

Macalister — On a Cone of User-ha. 25 

On finding this cone, I sent my first rough transcript and transla- 
tion to Mr. Birch, the highest authority in this country on Egypt- 
ology, and he very kindly revised and corrected my reading. 

Ilser-ha was treasury-scribe (tepoypa/xyicaTei;?) in the reign of 
Thothmes lY., son of Amenophis II., and grandson of the Pharaoh 
of the Exodus, Thothmes III. (18th Dynasty). He lived about 
1410, B.C. 

His father, ITebuau, was also, as the cone attests, a Treasury- 
scribe, and I suppose him to be the same as the I^ebuaiu, who was 
High Priest of Osiris in Abydos, and who lived in the reigns of 
Thothmes III. and of Amenophis II. He has left us an inscription, 
quoted in i\ie Zeitschrift filr ^gijpt., Jan., 1876, and translated by Mr. 
Birch in his Egyptian Texts (Bagster. 1877, p. 25). In this he states 
that he enjoyed the favours of the king, was called to the House 
of Gold, made his place among its chiefs, and stretched his legs in the 
secret place. He also tells us that the king had him crowned with 
flowers, and that Amenophis II. repeated these favours. "WTiether 
User-ha inherited such marks of esteem our cone says not, but he 
enjoyed the same office under Kamen Kheperu. 

The only point of special interest in the inscription is, that it 
shows an interesting variant of the very variable character ua^ as seen 
in the figure. 

26 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


By AxEXAN'DEE Hacaustee, ir.D., Professor of Anatomy, Univer- 
sity of Dublin. 

[Read May 2ith., 1880.] 

A SHORT time ago I laid before the Academy a notice of the inscrip- 
tion on a Funereal Cone of the 1 8th Dynasty, which I found in the 
Museum of the University of Dublin. In the same dra^ver with that 
specimen I found a second, but very dissimilar cone, in many respects 
more interesting, though much more modem than the former. 

I regret much that I have failed to trace either specimen to its 
original source. I can only find that both specimens were in the 
Museum more than forty years ago ; and as the dates of the presenta- 
tions of Egyptian objects to the Museum which are recorded are 1785, 
1820, and 1835, I suppose that both these cones were among the 
unspecified Egyptian relics presented at one or other of the earlier 

The second cone is not nearly so well preserved as is that of 
IJser-ha, and contrasts with it in most respects. It is much shorter, 
with a broader disk and a more acute point ; that of User-ha measures 
8^ inches in length and 2|- inches in the diameter of its disk ; while 
the cone njider notice is only a little over 5 inches in length, and its 
disk measni'es 3^ inches in diameter. M. Mariette-Bey gives 7i inches 
as the length of those in the Museum at Boulaq^, and Sir G. "Wilkin- 
son refers to some nearly a foot in length. 

The material of the second cone is finer than that of the first, and 
harder. They are both made of an ochi-eous clay, mixed with fine 
ashes, but there is much less of the ashy ingredient in the second than 
in the fij'st. They have both been burnt, and are fairly hard. In the 
second cone, the ochi'eous colour seems to permeate the whole sub- 
stance, while the cone of User-ha is much yellower, and has had its 
lower end dipped^in some reddish staining fluid, which has irregularly 
dyed its disk and the surrounding part for rather less than two inches, 
as in the cone figured by Sir G. Wilkinson.- 

This cone was powdered over its disk with a fine white dust, 
which has closely adhered to it. The inscription, as on the cone 
of User-ha, is one of raised hieroglyphs, evidently produced by the 
cone being pressed against an incised mould ; and, in both, the marks 
of the fingers and thumb of the maker still remain — the fine clay 
retaining, in the second cone, even the impression of the papillary 
ridges of the thumb of the potter, who must have had an unusually 
small hand. 

^ Xotiee des principrmo: Momcments a Boidaq^ p. 176. Caii'O, 1876. 
2 Ancient Hffi/ptians, 1878, vol. iii. p. 437, Fig. 630, Xo. 3. 

Macalister — On a Funereal Cone. 27 

The inscription on this second cone is in vertical columns, separated 
by raised lines, while that in the cone of User-ha is in transverse lines. 
There are six such columns ; but unfortunately the face of the cone 
has been so much worn that only two of these, the fourth and fifth, 
are in fair preservation ; while in the others only a few individual 
characters, here and there, are at all distinguishable. In the first 
column, the first pair of characters are quite obliterated, and the third 
group is very much effaced, but seems to read " ma-tef hotep," 
followed by " an." The first is probably part of the name of the An, 
or scribe. 

The second line begins with five illegible characters, followed by 
" S." Then come three more defaced signs, followed by " mer-t." 
This line is unintelligible. The third column is little more distinct, 
and has had its first character broken, but I think it to be "as," 
followed by "ar. suten heq *' * ^' nes pe-hat" : "Osiris, King, 
ruling — belonging to the treasure-house." 

The fourth column is perfectly distinct, except as to its last 
character, and reads "Neb ta-ta Taharqa ma^eru ra mes (set?)": 
"Lord of both lands, Tirhaka the blessed (or justified), born of the 
Sun." If the last character, which is very much blurred, be the 
syllable "set," it may mean "nourisher," but I am very doubtful of it. 

The fifth column is only partly legible, and reads ' ' maxeru ar ta 
neb per tes-het *•'": "The justified son of the Lord of the house, 
binding in the place of '^•■." The last column begins with the word 
"per-t-'^V' i-^- ''corn." 

The cone seems thus a record of a scribe in the days of Tirhakah, 
who was son of the overseer of the granaries. The king's name 
settles its date, and adds much to its interest ; for such cones are most 
common at the beginning of the JS'ew Empire, especially during the 
18th Dynasty. They become much fewer towards the 20th Dynasty, 
and are rarely to be met with after the accession of the Sai'tes. This 
cone, dating as it does from the last reign of the 25th Dynasty, 
is thus interesting on account of the comparative rarity of similar 

Tirhakah the npn"in of 2 Kings xix. 9, is the Teapx<^j/ of 
Strabo (xv. 1, 6), whom that geographer describes as the greatest 
conqueror of the Ancient World. He is called in the Bible King 
of Ji'lS ; and from the monuments found of his reign at El Berk el, 
we can identify that district as, at least, a part of his Ethiopian 
territory. That he was King of Egypt as well, and regarded by the 
inhabitants of the Thebaid as a lawful king, not an usurper, is shown 
by his name not having been effaced from his monuments, by the 
title, " iN'eb Ta Ta, ma^eru ra mes," given on this cone, as well as 
by the contemporary testimony of the Assyrian Eecord, that he was 
besought by the Egyptians to resume the government after his defeat 
by Assurbanipal.^ 

^ G. Smith, Assyria from the Earliest Times, p. 140. 

28 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

What the true nature of these cones may have been we do not 
know. They have hitherto been found only at Thebes, and there they 
are specially abundant at the burying-place of Drah aboii'l Neggah. 
They are never found within the tombs, but are placed around them, 
and they are frequently in duplicate or even in larger numbers. They 
have been supposed to be marks set round the burying-places to 
indicate the limits of the allotted spaces in that crowded cemetery ; 
and this is, in the absence of special evidence, the most probable con- 
jecture. Others have supposed them to be seals, as we know that the 
ancient Egyptians nsed to secure with seals their private treasure- 
houses (as in the story of Ehampsinitus, Herodotus, Eiiierpe, 121), 
but no corresponding impressions are found, most of the seals being in 
relief, as if stamped with an engraved die. Others suppose them to 
have been ornamental, or even passports, to permit strangers to visit 
the tombs, but none of these latter theories are probable. As they are 
so often multiple, it is to be hoped that a duplicate of this specimen 
may be found from which the whole inscription can be intelligently 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 29 

XI. — Descklption- of a geeat Septjlcheal MoinsTD AT Aylesbtjuy- 


HtnviAisr and Antmal Remains, as well as some Objects of 
Antiquaeian Inteeest, eefeeable to the Tenth oe Eleventh 
Centueies. By Williaii Fe-izee, F.E.C.S.I., M.E.I.A. (With 

[Bead, November 10th, 1879.] 

In placing upon record the strange and unexpected discovery of a 
great quantity of human remains obtained at Donnybrook, near the 
city of Dublin, I intend to give a simple relation of the circumstances 
under which they were found, and to describe in as full a manner as 
I am able all the attendant features of importance, and to leave 
conjectures about the cause of their accumulation, and theories 
regarding the special period in Irish history when it took place, for 
matters of secondary consideration, open to discussion hereafter, as 
subjects on which diiierences of opinion might be entertained. Nor do 
I purpose to treat of the special ethnology of this find, except in brief 
detail, as it would deserve a distinct investigation — contenting myseK 
with mere sketches of the leading points that were ascertained about 
the characters of the skulls and other bones. 

The first intimation that reached me of this vast chamel heap was 
on the 3rd day of October, 1879, but no idea was then entertained of 
the great quantities of bones that were afterwards disinterred, or 
rather unearthed, for they were all found lying on the surface of the 
original soil, covered with a mere superficial layer of clay, not con- 
tained in graves, pits, or excavated cavities. I owe the information 
to my friend Mr. Thomas Wardrop, for which I feel much his debtor, 
as also for the liberal access he gave me to the locality itself, and for 
placing his workmen at my disposal when I required them to assist 
my researches by excavations. Mr. Wardrop had purchased the ground 
at Aylesbury-road to erect some houses, and he stated that, in digging 
up the field at the rere of his new houses, his workmen had procured 
several human bones ; amongst them was a perfect skull of large size, 
that had the mark of a sword-cut upon its forehead, and they had 
found with them a spear-head of iron and an iron sword, all of which 
he had laid aside for me, and he invited me to examine the place 
where these were got. I visited the locality that evening, made a 
searching inquiry into every circumstance connected with the dis- 
covery of the bones, and got possession of the skull ; of a sword, which 
was at once recognised as belonging to the Scandinavian type of 
weapon, being broad and double-edged, with iron hilt and pommel ; 
and I also obtained the iron spear-head, which was likewise of un- 
doubted Scandinavian origin. 

The workmen during that day had unearthed additional human 

30 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

bones lying to the south of the first-obtained skeleton ; and it appear- 
ing probable that the discovery would prove of antiquarian interest, 
I made arrangements to follow np the subsequent stages of the 
diggings, and watch the excavations as they advanced. Professor 
Macalister, of Dublin University, at two subsequent periods was kind 
enough to superintend the unearthing of a quantity of these bones 
himself, and these excavations added a great deal to our knowledge of 
the manner in which the bodies were arranged, and their position in 
the mound, and we were able to confirm each other's observations. 
On one of these oceasions Mr. Baily, Palseontologist to the Royal Geolo- 
gical Survey, aided me and assisted in identifying the shells and other 
animal remains that were exhumed. Mr. G. H. Kinahan also obliged 
me by inspecting the excavations, and his geological knowledge 
enabled us to secure from the rubbish plates of sandstone that had 
been used for fire-hearths ; some pieces of sandstone which had served 
to sharpen instruments, such as knives, &c. ; and a stone hammer, 
probably employed for opening oysters, such as is still used in the 
west of Ireland for that purpose. 

The exact locality upon which the mound was situated is marked 
on maps of the city of Dublin and its suburbs, published a few years 
ago, as " Mount Erroll." It lies to the south of the recently-formed 
Aylesbury-road, and, of course, to the south of the Eiver Dodder, on 
the opposite bank to the famed classic locality of Donnybrook Fair- 
green — a fair of which we possess authentic records reaching so far back 
as the reign of King John, who granted it under charter to the citizens 
of Dublin. The field is situated to the east of the new chapel, which 
is at the corner of the Stillorgan-road. To describe it with greater 
exactness, it is on the plot of ground that immediately adjoins the 
row of houses on Seafielcl-terrace, from which it extends in an easterly 
direction; and an old road, now disused and closed up, but formerly 
known as Seaview-avenue, bounded its northern side. Many will 
recollect a favourite pathway along the fields, which led from this road 
to Sandymount, and was probably the remains of an ancient public 
path or road, long since disused, save for foot-passengers. This rather 
minute description of the locality is given, for houses are intended to 
be erected in the field and on the site of the mound, all traces of 
which must soon be removed ; and an exact record of the situation 
had, therefore, better be preserved. 

The surface of the ground on this portion of the field presented no 
traces of having been under tillage or broken up for cultivation, 
except in the vicinity of its southern boundary, where, outside the 
Kmits of the tumulus or burial mound, in a sunken part of the 
enclosure, some potato ridges were noticed. The field consisted of 
com]3act green sward, and had scattered over it a few trees, princi- 
pally elm. Beyond the north-west edge of the mound grew an elm 
tree of under twenty years' growth ; as the excavations advanced, its 
roots were uncovered, extending horizontally southwards into the 
mound, and through the human bones for upwards of fifty feet, the 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Ifound. 31 

small fibres of the roots marking some of the skulls and other bones 
by absorption of their bony tissue. At a distance of at least fifty feet 
from the trunk of the tree I measured one of its leading roots, and 
found it to be upwards of two inches in diameter. 

When the site was first inspected it was possible to trace 
out a distinct wide-spread flattened elevation, or mound, of clay, 
that extended inwards from the border of the ancient obliterated 
highway into the field for about one hundred feet, of a circular 
form, measuring from east to west almost as much ; its eastern 
limit was less defined, as the ground sloped gradually away. Mr. 
Wardrop had partitioned ofp a portion of this field towards the 
west end, and in digging here some forgotten stone drains became 
uncovered. But it deserves to be noted, that no trace of drains 
was present in the sepulchral mound, or near it ; in fact, it must 
have remained from the remote date of its formation up to the 
present time altogether undisturbed and intact. Bordering the south 
and west of the mound, there was a slightly elevated bank ; this 
boundary ridge had the deceptive appearance of constituting some 
kind of defensive embankment round the spot where the bodies lay. 
When it was better examined, it was ascertained to be of natural 
origin, for as the labourers excavated through the southern margin 
they found it to consist of undisturbed primitive soil, unbroken and 
continuous with the level surface of the original field, upon which the 
human remains rested, the colour and condition of the clay showing 
that it was a normal elevation of the primary soil, and not in any 
respect artificial. 

The disposition of the mass of bones and of the clay covering that 
composed the mound itself was rendered evident as the workmen 
excavated across it from north to south, cutting it open by a wide and 
shallow trench, averaging thirty feet in width, and progressing until 
they had passed through its entire extent, and for a distance of several 
feet beyond it. I consider the most satisfactory observations were 
made when the trench was opened to about half its length, and when 
the vertical boundaries of the cutting were recent, during dry weather 
and in bright sunlight. Under those circumstances, it was easy to 
distinguish the horizontal line that marked the surface of the field 
itself ; beneath this line the section uniformly showed the undisturbed 
yellow clay, composed of stiff argillaceous material, and containing 
rounded and angular stones of ordinary argillaceous limestone, such as 
are common throughout the district ; and in this there were no traces 
of graves or interments, nor any imbedded human remains, save 
where, through the lapse of time, the bones of a few of the lower 
stratum of skeletons resting on this surface had sunk down slightly 
into it. 

This clay underlying the mound is similar in all respects to the 
ordinary soil of the district, and its comparative imperviousness to 
Avater would account for the remarkable state of preservation in 
which the majority of the skulls and other bones were found. This 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

had been assisted by the gentle fall of the surface of the field towards 
the east, and by the presence of the slight elevation or bank already 
noticed, Tvhich bounded the south and west sides, and must have 
diverted a quantity of the sui'face di'ainage. 

Eising above the sui'face of this yellow soil was noticed a layer of 
darker-colom-ed clay, which acquired a deeper tint where the imbedded 
skeletons lay piled in great numbers. There were no traces whatever 
of human remains uncovered by the workmen until they had opened up 
the trench for about fifteen feet from the edge of the old roadway, com- 

mencing at the northern side, and working to the south. They then 
uncovered the bones of the fii'st human being, the head placed 
towards the north, and the limbs pointing southwards. This man's 
bones were described to me as large-sized, and they appeared from the 
description to have belonged to some person of unusually powerful 
fi'ame. At his sides were placed the iron sword and spear already 
mentioned, and his head was that which I first obtained, and which 
bore the mark of a fatal sword-cut, perforating the frontal bone. At a 
short distance away, and lying on either side of his feet, the workmen 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 33 

next iincovered two human skeletons, each a separate interment ; 
these bodies they described as belonging to persons of much smaller 
size, and it is probable they were the remains of females. I 
regret that these bones got removed and mixed up with nume- 
rous other human remains that were soon after unearthed, as the 
excavations advanced, the bones themselves being broken during 
removal. Three iron arrowheads were subsequently found in the 
clay close to where the first discovery took place ; and from the iron 
spear and sword buried by the side of the skeleton, and the wound on 
his head, we may conjecture that he was, in all probability, some 
leader or chief; at all events, he was the only individual found 
buried with weapons at his side in the entire heap; and apart from the 
rest of the slaia he lay stretched at full length, interred north and 
south — a position that would indicate pagan, or at least non-Christian 
burial. The iron sword-hilt, which I will describe in more detail 
hereafter, when subjected to minute examination, was ascertaiaed to 
have a rich ornamentation of inlaid gold and silver-work, such as we 
find figured decorating the swords of JN^orse Viking chieftains. In the 
great ethnological work, the Crania Britannica, of J. B. Davis, M.D., 
and J. Thurnam, M.D., we have recorded a good account, illustrated 
by engxavings, of an ancient I^orse skull that was found interred on 
the shores of Lough Lame, about three-quarters of a mile from the 
town, on the 7th ITovember, 1840. It lay about seventy yards from 
the seashore, and five feet above the level of high water. ''The 
skeleton lay not more than two feet below the surface, in a sandy 
soil, the head pointed to the IS". W. Across the breast lay an iron 
double-edged sword, its hilt deposited towards the right hand ; on 
the right side, and below the sword, was an iron lance-head ; a small 
bronze pin, covered with eerugo, and a few fragments of bone, were 
found near the body. 

A description of the discovery of this Larne body was laid before 
the Eoyal Irish Academy by Mr. J. Huband Smith, and was published 
in the Proceedings, vol. ii., p. 40, but the engravings of the skull and 
of the different objects obtained with it are to be found in the Crania 
Britannica. Worsaae would refer the elate of the Larne interment to the 
eleventh century, and he mentions that the Icelandic historian Snorre 
Sturleson relates that in the beginning of the century ''a desperate 
naval battle was fought between the Orkney Jarl Einar and the Irish 
king Konofogr in Ulfrics fiord on the coast of Ireland. The situation 
of this fiord remained unrecognised until it was discovered in a docu- 
ment issued by Xing John in the year 1210, at which time Lough 
Lame was still called "Wulsriche fiord." Worsaae's very probable 
inference, founded upon the relation of the historian, is that the Larne 
grave contained one of the Ostmen slain in the battle. The Eev. 
Dr. Reeves informs me that this identification of Ulfrics fiord was made 
originally in his work on the Ecclesiastical Atitiquities of Down, Con- 
nor, and Bromore, and that "Worsaae obtained the information from 

34 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

The striking points of similarity between the circumstances of the 
Lame interment and that of the skeleton first obtained at Donnybrook 
would range them in a close relationship as to the time of their occur- 
rence; and the class of warrior thus buried, the absence of coffin, stone 
cyst or other covering, the superficial interment of the skeletons — 
both lying in a northerly position on the soil, and having clay thrown 
over them, the burying with the bodies of their iron double-edged 
swords and iron lancie-heads, are all of them so identical in character 
that one description would serve for both ; nor was a bronze ring pin 
wanting at Donnybrook, though it was found at some distance in the 
mound subsequently. They difi^er principally in this, that the sword 
now obtained, from the rich gold and silver ornamentation of its hilt, 
would appear to have belonged to some chieftain of elevated rank ; 
and we may believe that the female remains found buried at his feet 
are additional witnesses to the esteem in which his followers held him, 
and the penalty exacted for his loss. At all events this interment, 
though to some extent kept separate from the rest, and distinguished 
by the presence of arms, was in intimate connexion with the others in 
the mound. The bones lay on the same level upon the soil, and one 
common clay covering was over all. As the exhuming advanced, the 
great abundance of human bones that became exposed showed what a 
number of slain individuals composed the one great heap. Calculat- 
ing roughly, it may be asserted that upwards of 600 beings must have 
been buried together, and this calculation is certainly under the real 
total. Towards the eastern side of the mound, which was the last part 
excavated, it was ascertained that the lowermost layer of human bodies 
had been there arranged with tolerable uniformity. Dr. Macalister 
and I uncovered at least two such rows placed one behind the other, 
with their heads pointing westward and their feet to the east; 
the skeletons lay in close apposition side by side ; above these was a 
second layer of dead thrown down in every possible direction, and then 
there was a stratum of young bones, which formed the upper division 
or third superimposed layer of the mass, appearing as if they were 
pitched in upon the top of the others. These young skeletons were 
found in considerable numbers towards the eastern side of the mound; 
indeed it was not until more than half of it was excavated that the 
remains of children became conspicuous and attracted attention from 
their frequent recurrence. The parts of the mound first opened 
disclosed principally adult remains, which seemed heaped together 
regardless of order and lay in all possible positions. With rare ex- 
ceptions, the entire of the skeletons were gathered within a circular 
space of 34 to 40 feet in circumference; still for about 15 feet 
further towards the south as the trench advanced, a few skeletons, 
either isolated or where they had fallen in small groups, continued 
to turn up, but beyond this no more were obtained ; thus human 
remains were lying about until the excavations reached upwards 
of 60 feet through the mound, after which none were seen, though 
the trenching was continued for a total length of 130 feet. The 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 35 

lower layer of skeletons which, as already stated, were found disposed 
at full length on the surface of the original clay soil of the field, had 
many of them their skulls still remaining in close proximity to their 
bodies, but there were also uncovered skulls separated from the 
remainder of the skeleton for an appreciable distance, and again, 
lower jaws separated from the skulls. These observations would appear 
to show that some time must have elapsed after death before they 
became interred or covered with clay, during which decomposition had 
set in, and the skulls become detached ; other facts which were care- 
fully ascertained led to the same conclusion : thus several crania had 
rolled with their base upwards, so that a quantity of clay had passed 
through the foramen magnum, and all such heads were as a rule in a 
far better state of preservation than those which lay with their bases 
downwards, when they continued empty and were more liable to 
become crushed and broken from external pressure. In washing out 
this clay that filled up the interior of the skulls, a miscellaneous 
collection of objects was obtained : broken pieces of human bones, 
decayed and loose teeth, a detached fragment of the angle of a jaw- 
bone, so large that it passed with difficulty through the foramen 
magnum, portions of the shells of cockles and periwinkles, and a few 
shells of snails of small size, and of the ordinary species found in the 
inside of old skulls. Several of these separated heads must have been 
decapitated, as they were discovered lying at considerable distances 
from the rest of the bodies. Of this we obtained more satisfactory 
evidence upon the eastern side of the mound, where Dr. Macalister also 
from his investigations arrived at a similar conclusion ; for he detected 
there two different heaps each consisting of four heads collected 
together into groups; and on November 5, 1879, I obtained eight 
skulls, all of which were injured and in a broken condition lying 
gathered into one pile, of course, altogether separated from the rest of 
their bodies ; they had undergone rough usage and broke into frag- 
ments when I endeavoured to remove them. The opinion I arrived at 
from examining them in situ was that, after being cut off they were 
rolled or kicked about, and the bones broken with extreme violence 
previous to gathering them into a heap. Again, at a later date, on 
November 28, the workmen who were searching for additional skulls 
for me discovered, close to the place where the other skull heaps had 
been procured and at a short distance from them, but more towards the 
N.E. of the excavations, another definite group consisting of eight 
skulls, also accumulated into a distinct heap and placed resting on the 
level of the original soil. These skulls I examined with special interest; 
and though they were damaged to a less degree than those obtained 
in the preceding groups, yet they all showed evidences of having 
sustained unusual injuries by being kicked about, tossed on the 
ground, or otherwise maltreated, for the bones of the face were 
smashed into fragments, and so detached that it was useless to attempt 
procuring a perfect specimen. One of the lower jaws belonging to 
this group had sustained a fracture of the body of the bone extending 

36 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

from the first molar tooth through the osseous tissue. Another was 
broken across to the right of the symphysis menti between the canine 
and first premolar tooth; and further, with one solitary exception, all 
these skulls had the marks of perforating fractures such as would 
result from a large nail, a dagger-point, or the sharp spike of a battle- 
axe driven with force through the cranial bones : indeed a searching 
examination of the appearances thus produced impressed me with the 
conviction that they had been killed one after the other in utter 
wantonness of cruelty, in a similar manner, by fracturing their skulls 
with the point of a dagger ; and judging from the close resemblance of 
the injuries they had all alike sustained, probably by the hands of 
one individual. The calvaria of this group, of which I retained six, 
all belonged to persons, male and female, of advanced years ; and from 
the sutures being in progressive stages of obliteration, and the bones 
themselves of considerable hardness, it was obvious that they were 
the remains of persons far advanced towards the decline of life. To this 
circumstance I would ascribe their preservation, though the bones of 
the face had become broken and detached. Of these, one calvarium 
was pierced at the antero-superior part of the left parietal bone ; 
another had sustained a perforating wound on the centre of the left 
parietal, and sword-cuts over the left orbit and forehead ; a third 
skull had a perforating wound on the lower part of the left parietal 
bone ; a fourth had a wound apparently caused by an arrow or spear- 
point that had also produced a perforating fracture on the lower and 
anterior portion of the left parietal ; and a fifth was perforated in the 
angle of junction of the frontal, parietal, and temporal bones. All 
those fractures, as might be expected, were attended with removal of 
bone of the inner plate of cranium to a greater extent than the 
external wound. The practice of inflicting wounds of the scalp and 
skull of this nature is described as being an ordinary Danish custom 
in warfare ; and the savage habit of decapitating the heads of their 
slain enemies is often recorded in the Celtic stories of battles in those 
early ages. In the Booh of the Bean of Bismore containing trans- 
lations of Gaelic ballads written down about a.d. 1530 in Argyl- 
shire, and published in Edinburgh in 1862, such a custom is described. 
In the poem of the Heads, p. 58, we have recorded several details 
of human heads hewn from the bodies of the slain in revenge for the 
death of Cuchullin. Again, the savage practice is recorded by our 
Irish annalists as one that was followed by the Danes, both those of 
Scandinavian origin and the more ferocious Danar or pirate invader : 
but it appears far stranger to learn that the native Irish Christians, 
when engaged in warfare against these l^orsemen, thought themselves 
justified in adopting a similar course of procedure in retaliation for 
their outrages. Thus in a.d. 851, after the battle of Carlingford, " the 
Danes killed thrice their own number and they beheaded every one 
they killed; " see Three Fragments of Irish Annals, &c., p. 117, pub- 
lished by the Irish Archaeological Society, 1860. 

Again in a.d. 852, "A battle was given by Aedh, king of Ailech, 

Frazer — On a Great SepulcJiral Jlound. 37 

the most valiant king of his time, to the fleet of Grall-Gaeclhil, i.e. they 
were Scoti and foster-children to the Northmen, and at one time they 
■used to be called jS'orthmen. They were defeated and slaughtered by 
Aedh, and many of their heads were carried off by Aedh, the son of 
Nial, with him, and the Irish were justified in committing this havoc, 
for these were accustomed to act like the Lochlanns " (see p. 129 last 
quoted work). 

It is to these mixed races of Scoti and Danish northern invaders, 
who made constant raids on the Irish coasts during the ninth and tenth 
centuries, that I am inclined to ascribe this extensive massacre of per- 
sons of all ages, young and old, at Donnybrook, and the discovery of 
the different heaps of decapitated heads piled together in the mound 
is one of the reasons, amongst others, which induces me to form such 
an opinion. The piratical bands of Scoti are described by Irish his- 
torians as consisting of " persons who have renounced their baptism, 
and who had the customs of jS^orthmen, and been fostered by them," 
and "though the original IN'orthmen were bad to the Churches, these 
were far worse." The usual places of abode whence these wild Scot- 
tish catherans came were the outlying islands of Scotland, the Cantyre 
coasts, Aran, and the Isle of Man, whence they issued to join the pre- 
datory bands of J^orse pirates in their invasions. 

When uncovering such quantities of human remains, lying in close 
proximity to each other as they were examined into with attention, 
several striking results were noticed. Thus Dr. Macalister obtained 
two foetal femora resting undisturbed within the cavity of a female 
OS innominatum ; the unborn remains still being within the body of the 
parent. We also found where the hands of the dead had lain across 
their abdomen, that as decomposition advanced the bones of the hands 
fell down into the pelvic cavities, and lay upon the sacrum. In some 
the phalanges had even penetiated within the sacral foramina and 
lodged there. Again, on jN'ov. 24, 1879, I disinterred an infant's 
skull, which was crushed in, and within it were the separate bones of 
an adult's hand, probably its mother's. To give an illustration of the 
utter confusion in which many of the bodies were heaped together and 
intermingled, there was dug out one firm cohering mass bound with 
the adhesive argillaceous clay as it lay in the ground, which yielded 
two thigh bones placed horizontally in their natural position, a third 
thigh bone that was imbedded between them, and reversed, and two 
leg bones, also in reversed position. Thus it contained portions of 
three different adult human beings, and yet all were gathered lying 
like a bundle of sticks within a bulk so small that I could grasp it in 
my hands. 

It would appear from the result of repeated testings made over 
different parts of the mound, that on the average three separate layers 
of human bodies could be recognised, piled above each other through 
the entire space, yet the vertical depth of the clay stratum within 
which, strictly considered, these bones were imbedded did not exceed 
eighteen inches to two feet. The clay in which they lay was the 


38 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

common clay of the district, with rounded and angular calp fragments, 
but of dark colour, from its saturation with animal matter ; and when 
the vertical sides of the trench were freshly exposed in dry weather, 
we could notice how this covering of clay had been thrown over the 
bodies in interring them, as it assumed an appearance of stratification 
different from the homogeneous structure of the undisturbed subjacent 
yellow till. As the excavation advanced towards the east side of the 
mound, we procured several squares of sandstone, or small flagstones, 
and a few composed of split calp, averaging each about a foot square, 
that still retained marks of having been employed for fire-stones ; these 
were thrown in amongst the slain bodies, and some at least used as 
offensive weapons ; thus I extracted one of these sandstone slabs 
from the place where it lay, pressing upon a skull belonging to the 
lowest layer of skeletons ; it had driven the parietal bone inwards, 
breaking and depressing it. From the relative positions of this flag- 
stone and of the head, it was impossible to mistake the appearances for 
an accidental occurrence : the fracture was distinct, and the injury must 
have been sustained during life, or immediately after the person dying. 
It presented all the characters observed in a recent fracture caused by 
extreme violence, and two layers of bodies lay covering it in the 
mound. Nor was this a solitary instance of finding these stones in 
contact with human heads, to all appearance hurled upon them with 
intent to cause injuries. 

Mr. Kinahan selected for me other portions of sandstone that 
exhibited on their sides longitudinal groovings ; these he ascribed to 
their having been employed for sharpening iron instruments, such as 
knives — an obvious explanation. Now sandstone is not found in or 
near the district of Donnybrook, therefore both the sharpening stones 
and the fire slabs must have been brought there ; possibly they were 
obtained from the cottages of villagers residing close to the spot. Near 
some of the flagstones, and in contact with them, we got fragments 
of wood charcoal in tolerable abundance ; and imbedded deep in the 
orbits of one of the most interesting and remarkable skulls that this 
excavation yielded — that of a microcephalic idiot — were numerous bits 
of this charcoal disseminated through the clay that filled its cavities. 
A good deal of charcoal was also scattered about where the flagstones 
lay, giving additional proof of wood fires having been kindled on the 
spot itself. 

In a hammer- shaped nodule of calp limestone that I have, Mr. 
Kinahan also recognised a primitive oyster-opener, such as he has 
found still in daily use along the coasts of the west of Ireland, and 
which he informs me is employed with singular dexterity by the 
natives of these districts. At one end this hammer shows the marks 
of hard usage. The flint flake itself, which possibly was used for 
kindling a flre, was also picked up by a gentleman, and given to me 
on its discovery. It was the only fragment of flint obtained in the 

Certain marine shells were found, and require a notice. They 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 39 

were obtained principally in the west and southern parts of the 
tumulus, and were scattered through the clay, and mixed up with it. 
These shells seemed like the emptyings of some old domestic refuse- 
heap or kitchen-midden, the rubbish of which, with its broken shells, 
was used on the spot to assist in covering over the bodies of the slain, 
and I found with them a fragment of early earthenware and a whorl 
of baked clay. Some broken pieces of these shells I have already said 
had even entered the interior of certain of the skulls, and were removed 
when washing out the clay that filled them. The following is a list 
of the mollusca that were noticed ; they give us a clear idea of the then 
existing marine fauna of the district — a fauna that has undergone con- 
siderable modifications within recent times : — 

Buccinum undatum, . . This shell is probably not obtainable 

at present nearer than Howth. 

Littorina communis, . . Has now retired beyond Kingstown. 

Litforina rudis, . . . Do. 

Littorina neritoides, . . A few specimens. Has now retired 

beyond Kingstown. 

Solen (sp.), . . .A fragment. 

Ostrea edulis (common), . This, which was a common inhabitant 

of our bay, has within the last ten 
years been almost completely exter- 

Mytilus edulis (much decayed). Do. 

Cardium edule, . . . Still common at Sandymount. 

Cardium echinatum, . . Got at Portmarnock. 

Mr. Baily, Palaeontologist to the Royal Greological Survey, had 
found several of these shells, and gave me the specimens he obtained, to 
add to my own collection. Thete was no large accumulation of cockle 
or oyster shells discovered, such as we should expect to procure if they 
had been cooked and eaten on the spot ; instead of this they were dis- 
persed through particular portions of the excavations, and presented 
the appearance of being spread out with the waste soil to cover the 
dead. About a foot deep of debris lay above the bones, and this was 
all that separated them from the surface, save a dense layer of old grass 
sod, which averaged a thickness of eight inches additional, varying in 
different places an inch more or less. 

Bones belonging to different domestic animals were identified ; these 
included the bones of a small horse or ass, the cow, calf, sheep, pig, 
dog, and possibly wolf. The animal remains were not in sufficient 
quantity to have supplied the necessities of an invading force encamped 
on the spot for even a few weeks, and there were no arrangements dis- 
coverable for permanent cooking-places, and no special midden-heap 
containing the bones of the animals. They suggested the idea of being 
the debris of an impromptu feast held by savages in the midst of their 
prisoners, and when these were being slain the bones of the animals 


40 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

were scattered promiscuously through the human bodies, together with 
the flaggings of sandstone on which the food was cooked, and the 
embers of the charcoal fires. 

Of the broken and cut bones of the ox I preserved three jaw-bones, 
teeth, parts of ribs, the upper fragment of a thigh bone, and one of the 
vertebrae : this retains on it the marks of being divided by a sharp 
cutting or sawing instrument. The head of the femur, cut across as it 
lay within the acetabulum, and neatly sawn, was also picked up. The 
upper part of a thigh bone belonging to a young calf, and an incisor 
tooth were likewise gathered ; they were portions of a very young 
animal, which would appear to point to the spring or summer months 
as the season of the year when this massacre was perpetrated. Sheep 
remains were rather abundant. I kept portions of jaws belonging to 
three or four of them, large and small trotter bones, and vertebrae sawn 
across in an oblique direction. Of the pig, parts of the lower jaw were 
preserved, and separate teeth of the animal ; among them were the tusks 
of two old boars and of a young one. Of the horse or ass, both teeth 
and bones were got. The left ramus of a lower jaw-bone of a large- 
sized dog was found by Mr. Moss, and a few days after I picked up the 
corresponding right bone. Dr. Macalister likewise found bones of this 
animal, and has decided that it was a dog of large size, possibly a 
wolf dog, not a wolf. 

October, 1880, I got the upper jaws and snout of an animal that 
I believe may have been a wolf. It resembles the remains of that animal 
which I have examined in some English museums, but the identifica- 
tion is full of difficulty. It is worth directing attention to the fact 
that, common as we know the wolf once was in Ireland, the discovery 
of its bones is of exceptional rarity, for which it is difficult to offer 
any satisfactory explanation. The publications of the Irish Archaeo- 
logical Society in 1860 afford an interesting illustration, taken from 
Irish history, of the habit of the dog or wolf to prey upon the bodies 
of the slain, a.d. 869, in a battle where the l!^orsemen were defeated, 
the writer says : " The son of Gaithin attacked them as the wolf 
attacks sheep, and they fled into a bog, and in that bog they were all 
killed, and dogs devoured their bodies." — See p. 167, Three Frag- 
ments of Irish Anncds, &c. 

It was difficult to conjecture why scattered remains of different 
domestic animals which had been cooked and eaten should become 
dispersed through a mound of slain human beings, and the difficulty 
was increased when later still we found the slabs of cooking stones 
and the charcoal used for firing also scattered about, and the stones 
themselves apparently used for offensive missiles : but in referring to 
published Irish annals that record the history of Danish invasions we 
obtain the following startling account of similar practices pursued 
by these people in one of their battle-fields fought in the North of 

A.D. 851, a battle took place between the !N"orsemen and Danes in 
the fifth year of the reign of Maelsechlainn. The Norse galleys 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 41 

under their chieftains went to Carlingford Lough; and it is recorded 
that the Danes were defeated in a sea fight. A second battle followed, 
fought both on sea and land; in this the Danes were successful; then 
we have the following story : "Now at this time Maelsechlainn, king 
of Teamhir, sent ambassadors to the Danes, and on their arrival the 
Danes were cooking, and the supports of their cauldrons were heaps 
of the bodies of the Lochlanns, and one end of the spit on which the 
meat was hung was stuck into the bodies of the Lochlanns, and the 
fire was burning the bodies, &c., &c. . . . The ambassadors of Mael- 
sechlina beheld these in this condition, and they reproached the Danes 
with this, and the Danes replied ' This is the way they would like to 
have us.' " — See p. 125, Three Fragments of Irish Annals, &c. 

If the remains of the horse or ass which were also found lying 
scattered about had been eaten by these people, it would afford strong 
additional evidence for concluding they were Danish and pagan, for at 
an early period the Anglo-Saxons relinquished the use of horse-flesh, 
and there are abundant proofs that the Irish Christians would not 
partake of a food so repugnant to all the received ideas of Eastern 
Christianity. I can only say that the horse remains lay scattered 
about in the same way as those of the cow, pig, and sheep, and pre- 
sented similar appearance of having been used for food. 

At an early stage of the investigation, it became evident that the 
human remains found included those of persons of each sex and of 
every age, from infancy to advanced life. I thought it, however, worth 
calculating the average proportions of males and females present: 
therefore, out of a heap of bones disinterred towards the centre of 
the mound, not selected, but taken as they lay on the surface of the 
ground after being dug up, I gathered all the sacral bones that 
remained unbroken and fit for measurement, rejecting about ten which 
were fragmentary and decayed, and retaining seventeen. These were 
measured with accuracy, and the result gave of undoubted female 
remains nine, and of males eight. For this purpose Dr. Macalister 
compiled for me a Table of measurements of male and females acra ; 
and as the importance of this bone is admitted in distinguishing 
between skeletons of males and females, especially for objects of 
medical jurisprudence, and as the usual works of reference give only 
loose generalities instead of exact data, the following important mea- 
surements are subjoined: — 

Meastjeements op Sackal Bokes. 


Length, 4f to 5+ inches. 

Breadth, 4^ to 4^ inches. 

Curve of the transverse diameter, -^^ of inch. 

The vertical curve begins at the second vertebra. 

42 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


Length, 4^ to 5 inches. This is a point of secondary importance. 

Breadth, 4|- to 5^ inches. Much more distinctive. 

Curve of the transverse diameter, ^o- of inch. A characteristic 

The vertical curve begins at the third vertebra, also a distinctive 


In addition to the thigh bones of the unborn child, found by 
Dr. Macalister, I got other similar remains, and have preserved the 
lower jaw and half the frontal bone of an infant aged about the 
seventh month of foetal life, and also the jaw-bone of a recently born 

So numerous were the remains of young children, that a selection 
of their lower jaws aiiorded examples of every stage of infantile 
dentition, and I gathered a large and complete series of them, and 
from this onward to youth and perfect maturity, until the last perma- 
nent molars became completely developed. The teeth as a rule were 
found to be unusually strong and healthy, but toothache was not 
altogether unknown, and sufficient examples of diseased fangs and 
even a perforation of the jaw-bone from abscess at the root of a tooth 
could be identified. 

The worn down condition of the grinding surfaces of these teeth 
was most remarkable ; they show an amount of attrition altogether 
unknown at present in the British Isles ; of course this is best seen 
in mature jaws, and during advancing life. Excessive attrition is 
common to all races that use food requiring a considerable degree of 
mastication ; thus it occurs both in those who employ corn ground 
in hand querns, in which it becomes mixed with more or less of the 
sand from the mill ; and it has likewise been noticed in tribes that 
live upon fish diet almost exclusively, as in the neighbourhood of 
Vancouver's Island. There were, further, several jaw bones that had 
belonged to persons of considerably advanced age, where the teeth 
had almost or altogether fallen out, and in which the bony alveolar 
tissue was absorbed, and had disappeared both in lower and upper 

Amongst the bones which I obtained there are a number that 
appear worth describing, either for their size, or because they pre- 
sent evidences of diseased conditions. The vertebrae and some of the 
bones of a man were dug up who must have, when living, been of 
exceptional size. The vertebrae are wider — not thicker — than those 
preserved in the Anatomical Museum of the Dublin University, 
belonging to the famous Irish giant, O'Brien, so their possessor was 
probably a person of great bulk. 

Platycnemic tibiae were also found to be very numerous. Tibiae 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral 3Ioimd. 43 

of this character are ascertained to be of frequent occurrence in Prench 
and English graveyards, referrible to dates from the fourth to the 
tenth century. Their presence and frequency in the Donnybrook find 
affords us strong additional corroboration as to the early date to 
which they must be ascribed. Platycnemic tibiae were first observed 
in the cave-dwellers buried at Cro-Magnon in Perigord, belonging to 
the ancient Stone Period, or that when the reindeer roamed over the 
forests of Southern Europe. Prom this time they are noticed extend- 
ing through the ages when polished stone weapons were employed ; 
and out of 200 tibiae collected near Paris, at St. Marcel and St. Ger- 
main des Pres, in cemeteries belonging to dates anterior to the tenth 
century, 5 '25 per cent, were of this platycnemic form. 

"With the platycnemic tibiae were found "channelled fibulae" hav- 
ing inordinately large longitudinal grooves for the insertion of muscles. 
Another osseous peculiarity of primitive type, the femur '' a colonne " 
was of rather common occurrence : this primitive modification of the 
human thigh bone is recognised by the great development of those 
two posterior ridges that form the linea aspera, their prominence and 
separation from each other leaving an intermediate space and pro- 
ducing a pilaster-like appearance that extends along the middle two- 
fifths of the posterior aspect of the bone. Such femurs are also found 
in the Cro-Magnon cave-dwellers; and in the cemeteries near Paris 
already mentioned, it was ascertained that out of 200 femurs; in 6*5 per 
cent, the column was very obvious, and in 36 per cent, was slightly 
seen. M. Topinard says, " It seems that these peculiarities of the 
tibiae, femora and fibulae belonged to one and the same race in Western 
Europe. The 30 subjects from the cave at Sordes in the Basque 
Territory all exhibit them." 

Several of the jaw bones were distinguished by their massive form 
and depth, square-shaped angles, and the unusual development of the 
osseous ridges for muscular attachments. Their glossal spines were 
developed to an extent that I believe is never seen at the present day, 
at least in Irish jaws, forming shai^p projecting bony spines in some 
instances measuring fully a quarter inch in length. 

There were some good specimens obtained of bones affected with 
chronic rheumatic arthritis. The polished eburnation of the head of a 
femur, its peculiar shape and osseous growths, afford unmistakeable 
proof that its former possessor suffered from this painful affection, so 
well described and illustrated by the late Dr. Robert Adams. The 
number of bones thus affected showed that this disease was not un- 

There is also a remarkable specimen of depression observed upon 
the upper portion of the outer surface of a frontal bone. This appears 
to have resulted from long-continued pressure caused by the growth 
of some external tumour, most probably a congenital wen of consider- 
able size, or at least one that must have become developed early in the 
individual's life. 

The results noticed of an old fracture of both the tibia and fibula 

44 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

at the upper third are worth describing. The oblique direction of the 
fracture is seen, and an enormous mass of callus has united the frac- 
tured bones into one, obliterating the interosseous space. The upper 
end of the tibia is expanded and hollow, and was, it is probable, the 
seat of a local necrosis. 

Two sacral bones of females were picked up, both of which are 
very crooked, one-half being less developed than the opposite, and the 
coccygeal termination, instead of being in the medial line, is at the side. 
These appear due to some injury sustained in early life. 

Portions of the skull of an idiot were likewise obtained ; they 
possess an unusual amount of interest. The frontal bone shows the 
cranium to have been that of a young person. The orbital openings 
are placed on a different level, the right orbit being considerably more 
elevated than the left. The bone itself is imperfectly developed, the 
entire right half being smaller than the left, and a similar condition is 
recognisable in the occipital bone. A face such as this individual must 
have possessed is delineated in Dr. Robert Smith's work on " Fractures 
and Dislocations." It is described as an example of the rare congenital 
dislocation of the lower jaw ; and on looking at his plate, and comparing 
it with the frontal bone now found, it is impossible not to be struck 
with their identity of aspect. The subject is so fully worked out by 
Dr. Smith that it is unnecessary to do more than to refer to his ac- 
curate description. He considered this malformation so rare that in 
addition to his own case he records only one other example briefly 
noticed by M. Guerin. The case which Dr. Smith published was that 
of an idiot who died in the lunatic asylum at Island-bridge ; the details 
are consequently most perfect. I regret to say that neither the lower 
jaw nor any bones of the face are forthcoming of my specimen, which I 
picked out of a mixed heap of bones thrown together ; so that although 
there is every probability of its being an example of the very rare con- 
genital luxation of the lower jaw, we have only the frontal and occi- 
pital bones preserved, and a portion of the parietal. 

Another idiotic skull, that of a microcephalus, is in perfect preser- 
vation. It has a fairly elevated forehead, is of neat rounded shape, 
but the upper jaw is decidedly prognathous, the lower jaw being 
small and of moderate development ; it resembles in miniature in every 
respect the class of skull which I consider of Celtic or Irish type, and 
of which I possess several fully developed examples from this find, but 
it measures in circumference only 438 millimetres. The arrest of its 
development has not been caused by synostosis, for the sutures are 
unclosed and perfect, and the age of its possessor is easily calculated, 
as the third molars are still in process of becoming developed. M. Broca 
refers to this class of demi-microcephales " all non-deformed skulls of 
males that possess a horizontal circumference of less than 480 milli- 
metres, and of females those under 475 millimetres. If belonging to 
Europeans, they should possess an internal capacity below 1150 cubic 
centimetres." This condition of general or partial arrest of cerebral 
development will commence during the stage of intra-uterine exist- 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 45 

ence, and it therefore constitutes an important anatomical variety of 
idiotcy. The well-known Hottentot Venus, of whom I possess a por- 
trait drawn to scale, who was exhibited as a show in different parts of 
Europe several years ago, and whose skeleton is preserved in a Parisian 
museum, was an example of this idiotic demi-microcephale. Similar 
skulls are occasionally to be noticed in all our large asylums for the 
insane and for idiots ; and the Aztec children, so-called, who were 
shown in Dublin lately, are specimens of microcephalic idiots with 
dwarfed bodies. 

Two portions of a skToll of unusual thickness were obtained. In 
some parts it is almost one-third of an inch thick, measuring 15 milli- 
metres exactly. This appears to be a natural and healthy bone, the 
thickening being caused by no disease whatever. 

In considering the shapes of the skulls obtained that belonged to 
adults, for classing them, I have selected out of a large number three 
specimens which will illustrate the three great divisions of crania 
which are usually desciibed. Of these IS.0. 44 will represent a doli- 
chocephalic skull, I«[o. 21 an intermediate mesaticephalic form, and 
jS"o. 22 is brachy cephalic. 

These classifications, which depend on the relation or ratio that 
the antero-posterior diameter will bear to the transverse measure- 
ment of the skull at its widest part, is calculated by the formula 
Trans, diam x 100. , , , in,- _e -i-i i. n -l ^.i 

) but such calculations are lacmtated by the ex- 

an. post. diam. 

cellent Tables of Professor Plower, published in the last Catalogue of 

the Museum of the Eoyal College of Surgeons of England. The index 

varies from 

750 and under for dolichocephali, 

750 to 800 for mesaticephali, 

800 and upwards for brachycephali. 

I^ow the cranium jS'o. 44 affords us an index so low as 704. This 
is an exceptionally low result, for the skull of the average Australian 
savage reaches 71 "49, and even the Hottentot amounts to 72*42. This 
cranium will agree in measurement and shape with those long and 
narrow skulls that are found in Long Barrows. It has lost the face 
and lower jaw. 

No. 21, the mesaticephalic skull, is found to possess when measured 
an index of 754 ; this corresponds with the skulls of the Dolmen 
builders, and that of the Ancient Egyptians. It also corresponds 
exactly with the index ascribed by Messrs. Thurnam and Davis to the 
ancient Irish skull. From several considerations I am led to believe 
this is a typical Celtic or Irish cranium. 

But on examining the skull which I first obtained, j^o. 22, and 
which, I believe, was that interred with the sword and spear, having 
the deep sword-cut in its frontal bone, the index rises to 833 ; this is, 

46 Proceedings of ilie Royal Irkli Academy. 

therefore, a good specimen of a brachycephalic skull, and it corre- 
sponds in its measurements with, the skulls belonging to the Croat, 
different German tribes, and the Finlander. I believe its original 
possessor was one of the mixed people who originally came from the 
shores of the Baltic, and whom we knoAV^ in Irish history as Pirate or 
Black Danes. 

So far as the general facies is concerned, I think we may safely 
recognise two different and distinct types. One of these is straight- 
faced or orthognathous ; the other possesses a projecting upper jaw, 
which produces a prognathous appearance. There is no difficulty in 
distinguishing well-marked specimens of both forms, but some appear 
with intermediate features. 

The skull marked 19 is an example of the orthognathons face, 22 
is intermediate, 21 is prognathous. 

The little microcephalic skull, as I have already stated, is likewise 

prognathous. The degree of forward projection of the upper jaw in 

any skull is ascertained by obtaining the alveolar index, the formula 

r, 1 • 1 • basivalveolar leno;th x 100 -n^i ,-. - • j • t 

tor which IS — -, — -, -, — . vV henever the ascertained index 

basilar nasai measure. 

ranges below 980, the face must be classed as orthognathous. An 

index ranging from 980 to 1030 is mesognatbous, and all above 1030 

fall into the class of prognathous individuals. 

When these typical skulls are arranged beside each other, it is easy 
to see the great and striking differences they present in form, and in 
the aspect of their faces. 

I think we can amongst these skulls recognise some which fall 
under the Scandinavian type of Thurnam and Davis, and that, there- 
fore, will correspond with numerous examples of people still existing 
in our land, in Scotland, and in the maritime districts of the east of 
England, where Danish settlers planted their numerous colonies. To 
quote the words of these accurate observers : " The skull is small and 
regular, has a long slender elevated aquiline nose, closely correspond- 
ing with such as prevails in the northern counties of England where 
Scandinavian blood predominates. A narrow, long, orthognathous 
face, an upright square forehead, yet neither decidedly broad nor high, 
having a frontal suture, a long oval outline in the vertical aspect, with 
distinct parietal tubers, a globose tumidness in the supra-occipital 
region, and a large foramen magnum." 

The lower jaw belonging to this class of skull is distinguished by 
its massive structure, square outline, and strong everted angles. The 
lines for muscular attachment are always prominently developed ; the 
chin square-shaped, projecting, and forming a predominating feature, 
whilst the glossal tubercles are unusually developed, becoming in some 
even long bony growths. 

The second variety of skull is smaller, of mesaticephalic form, and 
of neat outline, but it presents a prominent prognathous upper jaw, 
which gives it a very peculiar and distinctive appearance. The nose 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulcliral Mound. 47 

is short, wide, and often turned up, -witli depressed bridge. The lower 
jaw is softer in outline, less massive, rounded, and does not possess 
the harsh shape and strong markings of the Scandinavian type ; the 
chin is little, if at all, prominent, and the appearance of the face is 
such as we have numerous examples of still in the south and west of 
Ireland, especially in inland districts, where the Celt has remained 
free from intermixture with Danish blood. I beKeve this form of 
skull represents a race that inhabited this country from a much earlier 
date than our Danish colonists. 

The contributions to Irish ethnology have heretofore been few ; but 
since writing the above account I have read over the Paper which was 
published by the late Sir "William AYilde, and laid before the King and 
Queen's College of Physicians in the year 1844, upon the " Ethnology 
of the Ancient Irish Piaces." Sir William regarded the question from 
a considerably earlier period in our history, for his observations relate 
almost without exception to those forms of crania which were obtained 
from barrows, tumuli, and kistvaens, all primitive varieties of inter- 
ment employed by races in Ireland in distant ages, far antecedent to 
the date at which the Donnybrook mound was formed. The conclu- 
sions at which he arrived may be compared, with much interest, along 
with those that appear justified by oui' examinations of the Donny- 
brook remains. Thus he has directed special notice to two diiferent 
varieties of crania, both belonging to, and distinctive of, our early Irish 
races, whilst he further figured and described, as referrible to a much 
later period in time, the crania of Danish and Scandinavian origin, the 
latter being similar to those which I have obtained possessing Danish 

jS^ow of the two primitive Irish races which he designates as Pir- 
bolg and Celt, he has given typical figures. One of these, the Pir- 
bolg cranium, will, in all probability, correspond with the remarkable 
dolichocephalic skull that I have described. These "long-headed, 
black-visaged, dark -haired, swarthy aborigines," possessed skulls that 
are principally characterised by "their extreme length from before 
backwards," or what is technically termed the " antero-posterior 
diameter" and the flatness of their sides. He says in addition, " ]!^ow 
we find similar conditions of head still existing among the modern 
inhabitants of this country, particularly beyond the Shannon, where 
the darker Pirbolg race may still be traced as distinct from the more 
globular-headed, light-eyed, fair-haired Celtic people who live to the 
north-east of that river." 

The earlier primitive interments of the Celtic race are to be found 
in kistvaens or sandstone chambers, and probably they were the race 
that used urn-burial also. Their origin, whence they came, and what 
countries they inhabited before arriving here, has proved a fertile 
field for speculation, but still remains an unsettled question. They 
may be, and probably are, the race termed in old Irish annals the 
" Tuatha de Danaan," who are said to have invaded and overcome 
the original Pirbolg inhabitants, and they would seem to have intro- 

48 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

duced, or at least known the use of, bronze weapons, just as at a 
much later period, and within historic times, the Scandinavian races 
were distinguished for their knowledge and free use of weapons made 
of iron. The crania of these Celts are " better proportioned, higher, 
more globular, and approach more to the better forms of Indo-Euro- 
pean, or Caucasian skulls." 

We notice, therefore, in Sir "William Wilde's memoir, three sepa- 
rate and distinct classes of skull found in Ireland, the Firbolg, Celtic, 
and Dane; and it was with much surprise and interest that, after col- 
lecting all the crania I could secure from the Donnybrook mound, 
and submitting them to rigid examination and the most accurate of 
all modes of testing, namely, careful measurement and calculation, 
that from the group three different yarieties of crania were evolved. 
One of these — ^the rarest of all — was a long-headed form of skull of 
low organization, that fairly corresponds with that of a Firbolg. 
Much more numerous were the class of Celtic skulls, properly so- 
called ; and in addition we had types different from both, and ranging 
themselves with those of Scandinavian origin, and with British skulls 
derived from Scandinavian ancestry. 

When studying the special osteological peculiarities of the human 
remains that were contained in this mound, I was led to consider they 
ought to afford " humeri with perforation of the olecranon cavity," a 
characteristic feature of less importance than the discovery of platy- 
cnemic tibiae, but still one of much interest and value for corroboration 
of the primitive period to which these bones must be referred, as it is 
a condition of bony structure which dates back as an ordinary racial 
character to the Polished Stone Period, and to that of the Dolmen 
builders, and might reasonably be expected to be found in conjunction 
with the platycnemic tibiae. 

The workmen were accordingly directed to make special search 
for these missing perforated humeri, and they were at once found, as I 
expected they would be, and since that time I have obtained several 
of them ; they afford us an additional point of much interest in the 
history of this discovery, and one deserving of being recorded. 

The next subject to be considered is a description of the few 
objects of archagologic interest that were obtained in the course of the 
excavations ; and limited as their number is, they are of service in 
enabling us to form at least an approximate idea as to the probable 
age of the interments. 

The most important discovery was the Danish sword (Fig. 1 ) : though 
broken across at the apex, and its pommel and hilt separated by the 
rusting of the middle portion of the handle, it still is in such a perfect 
condition that we can have no difficulty in recognising its distinctive 
characters. It is a broad-bladed straight double-edged weapon ; 
twenty-one inches of the blade remain attached to the hilt, and it 
measures fifty-eight millimetres transversely near the hilt, tapering 
somewhat upwards. The iron hilt and pommel were found to be 
richly decorated with an inlaid pattern of gold and silver, and the 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 


handle retained evident traces of having been bound round by «ome 
description of fine wire, possibly gold, but all remains of the metal 
here were lost. The King of Denmark some years since presented a 
specimen of this description of sword to the Museum of the Eoyal 
Irish Academy as an example of the Danish type of weapon, and 
they are found occasionally turning up 
in different parts of Ireland; thus others 
of similar shape which are in the Aca- 
demy's collection were obtained in the 
fields near Kilmainham, and the sword 
which was discovered with the Danish 
interment at Larne, already mentioned, 
was identical in form with that now 
got at Donnybrook. 

The peculiar interest attaching to 
this weapon is its rich inlaying of gold 
and silver both in hilt and pommel ; 
it is unique in so far that no other 
similarly-ornamented sword has up to 
this time ever been found in Ireland, 
and it corresponds with the descriptions 
and drawings of decorated swords in the 
Danish Museum, such as we read of in 
old northern legends as being borne by 
Norse chiefs and commanders of high 
rank and distinction. The beautiful 
pattern of the inlaying will be best 
understood by the illustration on the nest 
page (Fig. 3); its elegance and the mode 
in which the workman executed his task 
speak much for his talent and his taste. 
In an illustrated folio work of Professor 
Worsaae on Danish Antiquities, I find 
a drawing of an ornamental fibula or 
brooch which displays a similar pattern 
in every respect. 

The iron spear-head (Fig. 2) that was 
found buried together with the sword 
also afforded us a recognised Danish form 
of this weapon; we find it figured in 
"Worsaae's account of the Antiquities of 
Denmark, and it likewise corresponds 

in shape with the spear-top found in ^^S- ^- ^^^' ^' 

the Larne grave. This spear did good work in its master's hand; 
it still displays, adhering to its rusted surface, fragments of human 

Subsequent to the discovery of the sword and spear, a lady search- 
ing on the spot found three iron arrow-heads, one of which I obtained. 



Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

A ri^de dagger-blade of iron was also picked up close to the spot 
where the group of decapitated and perforated skulls lay, and it was 

Fia-. 3. 

observed that the point of this dagger fitted with exactness into the 
nail-like perforations in the skulls. 

Two bronze pins were obtained, one of them a straight pin about 

Fies. 4 and 5. 

3|- inches in length, its head ornamented with a pattern like the cross- 
markings of a pine-apple or fir cone (Fig. 4). The second was one of 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 


the characteristic Irish bronze pins of primitive manufacture, having a 
ring attached to its upper part ; this was broken by the workmen when 
found, probably to try whether it was made of gold ; it is such a pin 
both in shape and material as men and women were in the habit of 
using to fasten their garments. This pin (Fig. 5) was discovered lying 
on the level of the original soil, about twenty feet to the south of the 
great heap of human bodies, and not near to any skeleton, in a place 
where it appears to have been dropped and lost. 

A simple ring of bronze was discovered in situ upon the finger of 
a skeleton, and another made of bronze wire twisted into an ornamen- 

Fig. 6. 

tal pattern, having a rude resemblance to two interlaced snakes 
(Fig. 6), was got by Dr. Todhunter, also from off the bone of the finger 
it encircled. 

An iron ring was obtained by Dr. Macalister and myself, still re- 
maining around the upper part of the humerus of a young female. 
And a second ring of rather smaller size was brought to me a few 
days afterwards by the workmen who found it when digging up some 
bones ; they likewise got a thin bronze ring that measured about two 
inches in circumference. All these consisted of simple thin rings of 

A whorl of baked earthenware, such as used to be employed for 

FiK. 7. 

spinning, and of which an illustration is given (Fig. 7), was picked up 
during the excavation ; it has a pretty and peculiar modification of a 
well-known Etruscan and Greek pattern ornamenting its surface. In 

52 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

this primitive imitation of the wave ornament the curved end of the 
wave is represented by a single central point, which is surrounded by 
concentric circles, and these are joined together by means of graceful 
waved lines. 

Such things, with a few fragments of rusted iron, the use of 
which it was difficult to determine, constituted the entire of the 
objects discovered. It would appear, therefore, that the mound con- 
tained the bones of one warrior buried apaft, with his arms, sword 
and spear, that he had received a wound on the head from a sword 
sufficient to account for his death, and that at his feet were lying the 
remains of two women. 

That the clay mound likewise covered the bones of a number of 
men, women, and children, thrown into a common heap ; several of 
whom afforded conclusive evidence of having died by violence. That, 
as might be expected, such marks were best shown by sword-cuts, per- 
forations from dagger or spear-points, and fractures of the bones of 
the head and lower jaw. That at least four groups of heads were 
counted, that must have been cut off and then piled up ; and that, so 
far as could be judged, in addition to perforating wounds of the skull, 
these heads had received violent usage, by being thrown or kicked 
about, so that the face bones were broken. That with the human 
skeletons were mixed the scattered remains of domestic animals, de- 
tached, and sawed and broken, so that they appeared to have been 
cooked on the spot for human food. And that, further, the cooking- 
stones, the charcoal of the fires, and the flint itself to kindle a fire, 
were all forthcoming. 

The result of the exploration is conclusive that these remains of 
human beings were not men slain in battle. We found those of the 
unborn infant, the child in arms, the idiot, the lame, the mother as well 
as her children, both sexes alike mixed in indiscriminate confusion ; and 
all ages, from the commencement of life to the men and women who 
had arrived at protracted periods of existence, were here in a common 
grave. Besides these clear evidences of undiscriminating massacre, 
we have sufficient grounds for concluding that these poor victims were 
stripped and plundered of all they possessed ; not a single remnant of 
personal property or ornament was left on their persons, save two little 
brass rings, and the worthless iron band that probably bound a slave 
girl's arm. The two bronze pins that were discovered are sufficient to 
show that objects of this description were in ordinary use at the date 
of the massacre, and with the class of people found slain. They had 
probably fallen from the hands of the robbers on the surface of the 
field, and been lost there. I need not say that there were no coins of 
any description procured ; possibly coined money was as yet unknown 
in Ireland, or if they possessed any, the victors took good care not to 
leave it behind them. 

The exact date to which this wholesale destruction of human life 
should be referred must, in the absence of distinct historic records, 
remain to some extent a matter for conjecture. Sir Samuel Ferguson, 

Frazer — Oil a Great Sepulchral Mound. 53 

in his volume of poems lately published, has given a translation of the 
old bardic tale of the destruction of the house (Bruidia) of Da Derga 
and the death of King Conary Cor by the sons of Don Dessa and Ing Mel 
Caeeh. In addition to the numerous historic features of this tale, and 
its strange admixture of legendary belief and of fairy interference, it 
preserves for us this fact, that so far back as towards the end of Irish 
pagan times, and before the first teaching of Christian doctrines, there 
was a leading line of road radiating from Tara, and passing over the 
river Dodder not far from the sea shore ; and situated on this line of 
road was the guest house or Bruidin da Derga, where in those primi- 
tive times a battle Avas fought, and numbers of warriors slain by an 
invading force of Pirates, the banished Irish chieftains having leagued 
with a British leader, Ingcel, to plunder the Irish coast. Sir Samuel 
Ferguson says : "In the reign of Henry III. two king's highways are 
described as leading from Dublin southwards ; one near the sea-shore, 
and the other by Donnybrook. Booterstown is regarded as preserving 
the name of the ' bothair,' or main line of road to which they appear 
to have converged." It must be admitted that it becomes a matter of 
great interest to find preserved in an old bardic tale the distinct record 
of a battlefield situated in close proximity, so far as we can judge, to 
the scene of the present remarkable death mound ; but I fear all the 
evidence on the subject points to a far later date for its origin than 
the death of King Conary. 

Some speculations were made by persons ignorant of the ascer- 
tained facts, as to this slaughter being caused by the swords and bullets 
of Cromwell's soldiery, and to the attacks they made on Baggotrath 
Castle ; but Baggotrath lay altogether on the opposite, or western, 
side of the Dodder, and quite out of the way, close to the present bar- 
racks of Beggar's-bush. Besides there was not a trace of pistol or 
gun-shot wound, nor a fragment of a lead bullet got in the entire 
mound. The injuries sustained were all those inflicted by sword or 
spear, not by gunpowder. Still less satisfactory was the idea that the 
mound contained the remains of those Dublin citizens slaughtered by 
the Wicklow tribes upon Black Easter Monday, a.d. 1209, when the 
Tooles and Byrnes fell on them when enjoying their sports at CuUens- 
wood. The scene of this engagement still preserves the name of the 
Bloody Fields, and lies across the western bank of the Dodder ; and I 
believe it would be useless to expect ever to find traces of slain bodies 
on this field, for the dead were removed to Dublin, and buried by the 

The most probable explanation appears to be, that it was the result 
of one of those piratical descents or invasions of the Irish coasts made 
by robber Vikings, Danars, or Black Danes, and their ferocious allies 
from the Island of Scotland, which were so common in the ninth and 
tenth centuries. These invasions took place subsequent to, and were 
altogether difi:erent from, the Scandinavian settlements in Ireland of 
Lochlanns or Azure Gentiles, who are described in the chronicles of 
the time by their distinctive feature of being a white or fair-haired 


54 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

race. They came to our shores under the guidance of recognised 
leaders, who were men of admitted rank and ability, and often claimed 
royal descent, and were acknowledged as their kings and chieftains. 
These colonists settled down and established themselves as the per- 
manent owners of extensive districts of country. Thus they possessed 
the land extending for ten or fifteen miles to the north of Dublin, 
termed Fingal, and that to the south by Donnybrook to Dalkey ; 
their fortified town on the Liffey, Ostmanstown, being their principal 
centre. Clondalkin and Swords were also fortified by them. To these 
Scandinavian princes, when they had consolidated their rule, we are 
indebted for the first coinages of silver money, and they were encou- 
ragers of trade and commerce. No doubt these wai'riors plundered 
churches and abbeys ; and when they first invaded the land, they de- 
vastated it, took all they could, and drove away or enslaved the in- 
habitants. In time they settled down, acquired property, built our 
cathedrals, erected permanent dwellings and fortifications, and con- 
tinued to reside here until the Norman barons in their turn arrived, 
when they joined with them as allies and fellow- warriors. Of dif- 
ferent race came the Danar, the black or dark-haired foreigner, who 
fought against and plundered the fair Norseman as fiercely as he 
warred with and robbed the native Irishry ; but, as Dr. Todd remarks, 
it is to be regretted that the writers of our annals " do not always 
clearly distinguish between them in the descriptions of their devasta- 
tions in Ireland. We cannot even be sure that the name Dane is not 
sometimes given to the Norwegian. The word Dane in later times 
was used to signify pirate robber — a cruel and ferocious barbarian 
without distinction of nation." 

The earliest of these piratical northern invasions is recorded to have 
taken place in the year a. d. 794, when Eechree was burned by the 
Gentiles and its shrines broken. This place is supposed to have been 
Haghery Island, but Kev. Dr. Reeves locates it nearer to Dublin, for 
he refers it to Eechree of Bregia, that is Lambay. That this descent 
was the work of piratical Danes, or Black pagans, is confirmed by 
Welsh records as well as by Irish chronicles. 

After this period fresh bands of invaders continued to pour in, and 
about A. D. 823 several localities around Dublin and its neighbourhood 
were plundered, such as Swords, Duleek, Slane, Killossy near Naas, 
and Glendalough. Notices of these invasions are contained in the 
" Wars of the Gaedhill with the Gaill." 

Flying from an incursion of bands of pirates such as these, we can 
understand how the startled inhabitants of the district, young and old, 
rushed from their dwellings along the sea coast, and endeavoured to 
cross the Dodder at Donnybrook, and so get upon the main road that 
led to Ath Cliath, their last hope of safety ; or surprised and made 
captive, they may have been driven there to suffer torture and death ; 
for with the river between them and Dublin, and their captors in pos- 
session of the ford, the prisoners were altogether helpless, and at the 
disposal of their assailants. At all events there remains no doubt 

Frazer — On a Great Sepulchral Mound. 55 

about their subsequent fate. "We can recognise the traces of the 
pirates' feast ; the captives themselves were plundered and cruelly 
treated and slain ; their bodies, piled together, were left in a heap to 
decay, and before their friends and survivors ventured to cover them 
with a thin layer of clay, decomposition had already advanced, and it 
was impossible to recognise or separate the murdered victims. I be- 
lieve the Irish wolf, too, claimed his share of the prey. The rude 
cairn under which they lay interred must for ages have left its tradi- 
tional story in the minds of the people of that district, for the place 
ever after remained deserted and uncultivated. Even tradition at last 
failed, and all remembrance of their deaths was lost ; and were it not 
for the accidental discovery of the sword and spear, I might in all pro- 
bability have never heard of the Aylesbury-road mound, or been per- 
mitted to attempt the unravelling of its eventful records. In this 
Paper I have related so much of the ethnological investigations as 
could be detailed without publishing full measurements of the crania, 
and other particulars that appear better suited for a separate notice. 
These measurements have much importance, for no discovery of similar 
extent of undoubted early Irish crania belonging to the tenth or 
eleventh centuries has ever yet been made ; and I feel much indebted 
to Mr. "Wardrop and his family for the ample opportunities afforded 
me during several months for investigating every circumstance con- 
nected with the mound and its contents. 

The drawings to illustrate this Paper were made by Mr. T. H. 
Longfield, and I have to thank him for his kindness in preparing 

G 2 

56 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XII. — On certain Papers relating to Lady Bellasyse, and the 
Private History op James II. when Duke oe York. By 
W. Frazer, F.E.C.S.I. 

[Read, November 29, 1879.] 

"Who was Lady Bellasyse ? She was a lady who might have been 
Queen of England, Susan Armine, the daughter of Sir William Armine, 
of Osgodby, Lincolnshire ; her mother was Mary Talbot, niece of the 
Earl of Shrewsbury. She married Henry Bellasyse, son and heir of 
Lord Bellasyse, and nephew of Lord Fauconberg ; he was created 
Knight of the Bath, but appears to have been a rash, foolish man ; he 
quarrelled with his dearest friend, Tom Porter, Groom of the 
Chambers to Charles II., and for a punctilio of honour they killed 
each other; the duel took place in Covent Garden, in 1667. His 
widow captivated the affections of the Duke of York, afterwards 
James II., and only relinquished her claim for substantial reasons, 
now for the first time, I believe, fully known, although part of the 
consideration was her receiving a peerage for life from Charles II. in 
1674, when she became Baroness Bellasyse of Osgodby, having suc- 
ceeded to her family estates upon the death of her parents. Ten 
years afterwards she was married to a gentleman named Fortrey, of 
whom little is known, and she survived him. Her son, Henry 
Bellasyse, succeeded in 1684 to his grandfather, as Lord Bellasyse of 
Worlaby, and died about 1690. He married Anne Bradenel, sister of 
the Countess of Newborough, and she afterwards married Charles 
Lennox, Duke of Bichmond. Lady Bellasyse herself died 6th 
January, 1713. 

Bishop Burnet, in his History of Sis Own Times, gives an inte- 
resting account of this lady, referring to whom he says : — 

'' The Duke [of York] was now looking for another wife. He made 
addresses to the Lady BcUasis, the widow of the Lord Bellasis's son. 
She was a zealous Protestant, though she married into a popish 
family. She was a woman of much life and great vivacity, but of a 
very small proportion of beauty, as the Duke was often observed to be 
led by his amours to objects that had no extraordinary charms. 
Lady Bellasis gained so much on the Duke, that he gave her a 
promise under his hand to marry her ; and he sent Coleman to her to 
draw her over to popery, but in that she could not be moved. When 
some of her friends reproached her for admitting the Duke so freely 
to see her, she could not bear it, but said she could show that his 
addresses were honourable. When this came to the Lord Bellasis's 
ears, who was her father-in-law, and Avas a zealous papist, and knew 
how nntractable the lady was in those matters, he gave the whole 
design of bringing in their religion for gone if that was not quickly 
broke ; so he, pretending a zeal for the King and the Duke's honour, 

Frazer — On Certain Papers relating to Lady Bellasyse. 57 

went and toltl the King all he had heard. The King sent for the 
Duke, and told him it was too much that he had played the fool 
once ; that was not to he done a second time, and at such an age. 
The lady was also so threatened that she gave up the promise, but kept 
an attested copy of it, as she herself told me." — See Bishop Burnet's 
History of Sis Own Times, p. 198, 2-volume edition. 

The end of this amour was that the Duke of York at once 
proposed for and married the daughter of the Duke of Modena, and 
when the eventful June 10th, 1688, arrived, the birth-day of the long- 
wished-for Prince of "Wales, Burnet again mentions Lady Bellasyse 
as being one of the two ladies present at that important event. He 
says : " Lord Arran sent notice to the Countess of Sunderland, so she 
came. The Lady Bellasis came also in time." Many years passed, 
and in the latter end of the reign of Queen Anne Dean Swift, in one 
of his letters to Mrs. Dingiey, mentions her death, and that Lord 
Berkeley of Stratton had succeeded by her will to about £10,000, 
which she had left him. 

Some original letters of this Lady Bellasyse and of Lord Berkeley's 
lately fell into my possession, and they afford us a large amount of 
information, quite unknown up to this time, respecting her, and, I 
may add, quite unsuspected ; yet she was no unimportant person, and 
must have had a narrow escape of sitting on a royal throne as Queen of 
England. There are two letters written at her dictation, and signed by 
herself, that demonstrate beyond question that she must have retained 
to an advanced period of life all the cleverness and shrewdness she is 
stated to have possessed thirty-four years previously, when she capti- 
vated the affections of the Royal Duke, and obtained from him a written 
promise of marriage. They also demonstrate beyond question that 
this clear-headed widow was not unmindful of her own interests, and 
made right good terms with James, securing for herself no less than 
£2000 a-year, charged upon the Irish estates he possessed, and that 
she continued to draw her princely fortune to the end of her long life. 
As citizens of Dublin, this annuity has additional interest for us, for 
we find she had for paymasters well-known Dublin people, namely, 
Mr. Chaigneau and Sir John Bogerson. Sir John was Lord Mayor in the 
year 1693, and his name is still recorded by Sir John Rogerson's-quay. 
These worthy people appear to have regarded Lady Bellasyse and her 
recurring payments in a different light from that in which she viewed 
them, and to have felt unreasonable annoyance at the tenacity of life 
of the old lady, who managed to draw her very handsome allowance 
from the Irish estates of James all through the reigns of William III. 
and Anne, whilst it is more than doubtful whether James was able to 
obtain the least aid or assistance for himself from these same estates 
all the years he lived at St. Germains, a pensioner on the King of 

The following verhatim copy of a letter, dated November 11, 
1712, and signed by Lady Bellasyse, which I exhibit to the Members 
of the Boyal Ii'ish Academy, appears to me to possess most interest. 

58 Proceedings of tlte Royal Irish Academy, 

The second letter, dated August 16, 1712, relates to the same circum- 
stances, but gives less particulars, and is not so important or full of 

" Kensington, Novemli'' ye 11*'', 1712. 

" Mk. E.EDING, 

" My Lady Bellasyse did hope that before this time she should 
have sent you an answer in full to your letter and instructions how 
to proseed against S' John Rogerson. She and all the world must 
owne he is an original. My Lady saw M'. "Whichet before his going 
to Ireland, and she was to have seen him y** next day by appointment, 
but her not being well prevented it, in order to have had my Lord 
Whorton and some other hands, to her being alive, and being the very 
Lady Bellasyse to whom the Duke of York granted af fint charge of 
2000 pound a year out of his private estate in Ireland. 

" She supposes that the inclosed, which she sends you, will be 
usefull, and have the same effect. My Lord Marlborough and my 
Lord Berkeley being of her acquaintance at that time, and they both 
did her the favour to come to Kensington, to her house. Her 
LadyP indisposition has turned to a fit of ye gout, upon which they 
wished her joy, and her ladyP says you may doe ye same to S' John 
Eogerson, and tell him from her that her physician gives her great 
hopes she may live 20 or 30 year longer. Her ladyP would have you 
wait upon M'. Whichet, and if he thinks it of consequence to have 
it attested by any more, her ladyP can, with very little trouble, send 
him a scrowl as long as from here to Chearin Cross. After you have 
waited of M^ Whichet, you will be able to Inform her in what 
manner he thinks it propper to proceed in her concerns, and her 
ladyP leaves it to him and to you to pitch upon ye propper person of 
them you have named to employ. 

" If the exchange continue low and that you have any money in 
your hands, her ladyP desires you will send it over. 

" Bellasyse. 

" For Mr. David Eeding, 

"2b le left at the Post House in Ireland.''^ 

Armstrong — On Ancient Graves. 


XIII. — Some Paetictjxajrs eelative to the Finding of Htjmax 
Remains in the jN'eigkbotjkhood of Dundalk. By George Allman 
Akmsteong, C.E. 

[Read, June 28, 1880.] 

The locality of th.e discovery is a field close to the Dundalk station of 
the Great Northern Railway, in the townland of Cambrickville, for- 
merly belonging to Lord Eoden, now purchased by the Company for 
railway purposes. The field is situated in an angle dividing the 
townlands of Mounthamilton and Fairhill. It is in shape a tumulus. 
of a gravelly nature, and the graves are situated at an average depth 
of two feet from surface. 

Whilst excavating, the hill showed unquestionable signs of having 
been artificially constructed in many places. 

The graves lie at an average depth of two feet below the surface ; 
they are curiously constructed, the sides being, generally, formed of 
round stones placed in the shape of a coffin, about 18 inches high, and 
covered over with large flat stones, one of the latter being placed at 
the head and foot in each case, in order to separate each from the one 
adjacent. For four or five inches over these flat slabs is spread a 
layer of fine shaly chippings, the same being carefully wedged and 
packed round each coffin, if it may so be called. On removing the 
slabs with care, the skeleton may be seen {always heading in the 
same direction east and west), lying upon a three or four inch layer 
of fine, sharp sand, and in very few instances has the supervening 
earth made its way in. 

From several measurements made on the ground, the average 
length of the skeletons (before being disturbed) was four feet nine 
inches, and the coffin or grave five feet three inches. The two latest 
opened graves were much larger, and of the following dimensions : — 
seven feet long, two feet broad (at largest), and the skeleton six feet 

60 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

four inches ; the skull was in good preservation, but the skeleton fell 
to pieces on being moved. 

This and two others of slightly smaller dimensions differed from 
the rest : the sides of the graves were composed of fine, well-fitting 
slabs, and the top better closed than any of the others ; the skeletons, 
quite free from any extraneous dehris, lay on a bed of fine, sharp 
black limestone chippings ; altogether, these three showed much more 
care in their construction than the others, and this superiority in 
finish was generally noticed whenever a skeleton of larger size than 
usual was exposed. 

The skeletons seemed to me to be of great age, many being very 
porous, and resembling a dry clay pipe when touched with the tongue. 
I have preserved two fair specimens of skulls and other bones, the 
former being the only ones out of seventy having the lower jaw pre- 

I have made careful inquiries amongst the inhabitants of the 
neighbourhood, and not one among the oldest has ever heard any 
rumour of the existence of a burying ground in the locality. 

Careful search has been made for any weapons, inscriptions, &c., 
but as yet without success ; but they may yet be found, as the graves 
are being opened out during the course of the excavation at the rate 
of about ten a-day. 

UssHER and Kinahan — On a Submarine Crannog. 61 


Aedmore, Co. Waterford. By E,. J. TJssher and Gr. H. Kinahan. 
(With Piute I., and a Woodcut.) 

[Eead, November 29, 1879.] 

SuBMAnrNE peats are not nncommon off many parts of the coast of 
Ireland ; but, as pointed out in the Geology of Ireland,^ no human 
relics have been hitherto recorded from them, and such accumulations 
have only been examined by small excavations or borings, while vast 
extents have been left unexplored. The discovery of a crannog in 
submarine peat is therefore fraught with considerable interest. How- 
ever, that man existed before the last subsidence of the land was proved 
by the ancient habitations and structures found by the E,ev. W. Kil- 
bride on Aranmore Island, Galway Bay. These extend from above 
high-water mark down to below the level of low- water of spring tides. 

O'Planagan, in his work on the Blackwater, dated 1844, mentions 
the peat and submerged forest on the Toughal strand, where, as he 
states, trees of immense size had been dug up, especially hazel trees, 
with nuts and leaves. He adds: — "The horns of the Irish elk and 
bones of other animals have been dug up among the trees on this part 
of the strand." ..." Old people state that within their recollec- 
tion the remains of some buildings might be seen under the water 
when the tide was very low." The latter quotation may refer to 
something similar to the structure which forms the subject of this 

In the valley of Ardmore, and traversed by a small stream, there 
is a narrow but deepish strip of peat, which fills the hollow north of 
the village, and extends out to,, and probably below, low-water mark. 
This is crossed by a breadth of shingle-beach (lying on the peat) 
which carries the present road to Dungarvan. The portion of the 
peat-bed outside this beach was in former years cut for turf ; and 
various implements, besides the horns of red deer and other animal 
remains, are reported to have been found there from time to time. 
Of late years the turf-cutting has been forbidden, as it was supposed 
to facilitate the inroads of the sea. At the north of the bay there is a 
somewhat similar accumulation of peat. 

To whatever cause the denudation may be due, a great mass of 
shingle, which some years ago formed the beach near the village, has 
been gradually carried away, and in the peat beneath where it lay 
were observed numerous piles to which our attention was directed 
last summer. On examination it was evident that they were the 
remains of one of our Irish crannogs or lake dwellings. Sub- 
sequent exploration showed that the crannog was different from most 
others, having been built on a considerable thickness of peat, as 

1 Manual of the Geology of Ireland, by G. H. Kinahan, chap. xv. p. 2(34. 

62 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Acadetiuj. 

some of the excavations proved, nine feet in thickness of undisturbed 
peat, into which the main oak piles extended for depths of from one 
to four feet, vrhile the remains of the hazel (?) stakes or wattles that 
formed the walls of the huts or habitations were only a few inches 
long. This proves that only the bare foundations of the structure 
now remain ; all the habitations, and even a considerable thickness of 
peat under them, especially to the north-eastward, having been re- 
moved by the action of the sea. From the survey of the crannog we 
found that it had been inclosed by two not very regular ovals of oak 
piles (some of which were split) ; the piles of the outer oval, which 
are closer together and much more numerous than those of the inner, 
slope outwards, and those of the inner oval generally slope slightly 
inwards ; the interior was divided into numerous compartments. 

On the northern side only three piles could be found, one belonging 
to the inner oval and the other two to the oiiter. The reason for this, 
and for the paucity of stakes dividing this quarter of the crannog, 
may be accounted for by referring to the cross section, where it will 
be seen from the present surface of the ground that the sea denudation 
must have cut out all the piles and stakes to the eastward, except 
those of unusual length. To the ]^[. E. the denudation has been even 
greater; and here we now find at the surface many roots of bog timber 
similar to those which, near the centre of the crannog, are more than 
two feet below the surface of the solid peat. The inner encircling 
line of piling seems to have been wattled, as represented in the upper 
or ideal portion of the cross section. 

We dug up several of the oak piles as well as of the smaller hazel 
stakes, and found that they were all more or less pointed (some of 
them very imperfectly), as though by a hatchet ; the cuts are clean, but 
not more regular than those elsewhere made by stone or bronze im- 
plements. Near the centre of the crannog there were standing in the 
peat what on digging them up proved to be two split planks of oak 
in close juxtaposition, over three feet long and about two inches thick, 
and evenly split. Their upper ends had been worn off from exposure, 
but their lower ends (which were not far below the surface of the 
peat) were cut off square. These planks stood just within what 
appears to have been a circular wattle wall about 26 feet in diameter. 
This circle, now imperfect to the north-eastward, is to the west of the 
centre of the crannog. The greatest diameter of the crannog is from 
92 to 100 feet. It is known from the explorations made in other 
crannogs that the huts or habitations on such structures were formed 
with wattle walls, sometimes single, but often double ; in the latter 
case the space between being stuffed with peat ; and such seem to 
have been the structures on the crannog at present under consideration. 
Many of the huts seem to hare been oval or circular ; but the lines 
of stakes are so numerous and intricate that it is hard to follow them 
out ; and they would suggest that two or more sets of buildings may 
have been successively erected ; the later ones perhaps to replace 
former ones destroyed by fire or by a hostile people. 

UssHER and Kinahan — On a Submarine Crannog. 


In support of this suggestion it may be pointed out that some of 
these lines of stakes appear to have been driven alongside round 
beams of fir which evidently had been placed long prior to the time 
when the other lines of stakes had been driven. Furthermore, the 
points of certain stakes supposed to be older are perfect, while some- 
times the points of the supposed newer ones are crushed up ; as if in 
the driving they had encountered a substance harder than the peat. 

The excavations were unsatisfactory. In an east and west section 
scarcely anything was found but solid undisturbed peat, except on the 
east, at the outside oval of piles, where charcoal occurred at a depth of 
two feet from the surface. This charcoal layer was followed, but 
without any favourable results. 

The section here was as follows : — 

Section inside east margin of Crannog. 

8. Peat, 

7. Thin stratum of bluish clay, with worn pebbles, 

6. Peat, ........ 

5. Thin stratum of bluish clay, with worn pebbles 

and an angular piece of limestone, 

4. Thin stratum of charcoal, .... 

3. Peat, 

2. Clayey peat, ....... 

1. Very clayey peat, full of small oak roots, . 





In the peat, IS'os. 1, 2, and 3, roots and twigs of oak occurred, and 
in the peat, Nos. 6 and 8, many boughs and twigs of oak, also stouter 
pieces of sallow . 



The accompanying cross section was taken along the line AB on 
plan. On it are shown — 

1st. The present surface of the ground with the oak piles and 
hazel stakes that penetrated into it, also the planks, beams, &c., that 
were found in the excavations. 

64 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

2ud. The former surface of the ground, with an ideal restoratiou 
of the structures the traces of Trhich still exist. Of these the ouier 
oval seems to have been constructed of piles driven closely together 
(generally large, but sometimes small), whilst the inner oval seems to 
have been of piles interwoven with wattles. Between these two 
ovals was probably a filling of peat. The exact position and size of 
the central large circular hut is somewhat uncertain, as there are 
more stakes than are required to complete a single circle. It is pos- 
sible that these may be the remains of two huts of nearly equal size 
which occupied successively the centre of the crannog. Against the 
west side of the large hut there seems to have been a liney, while to 
the iS". W. there are stakes that may represent the site of an isolated 
circular hut. 

The north-east denudation has left so few remains on the north- 
east side that we cannot tell what structui-es existed in that portion 
of the enclosure. On the plan the foundations of various structures 
to the south of the line of section may be traced out. 

3rd. The high- water-mark of average spring tides. 

It is evident that when the crannog was first erected, the sea beach 
must have been much further eastward than at present ; while inside 
or to the westward of it was a considerable marsh or morass in which 
the crannog was constructed. Subsequently the land sunk, how much 
we have no data to determine, but at present the ordinary spring- 
tide would cover a structure over eight feet in height. 

4th. Under the present surface is shown the peat and its depth, 
where proved ; whether it deepens or grows shallow landwards (west- 
wards) has not been determined. 

The circumstances of the hazel stakes in the peat would seem to 
suggest that this crannog was very diif erent from those usually found. 
The habitations must have been on a surface only a few feet higher 
than the present one, thus leaving no room for the thick massive 
foundations of branches, trees, stones, sods, and such like usually 
present. The occurrence of hazel stakes between the ovals on the 
western side suggests the idea that there may have been habitations 
or cells in the enclosing wall of the crannog on that side. 

The following is a list of objects reported to have been found in 
former years in the Ardmore peat, but probably not within the 
crannog, with the names of the parties from whom this information 
was obtained: — 

1. Antlers of red deer. — Two in possession of E. J. TJssher, 

believed to have been obtained at Ardmore by his father. 

2. Antler of do. — A tyne obtained by the above from a fisher- 

man, who states it was found in the peat. 

3. Scapula of Irish elk? — Found in the peat by the late Mr. 

Edward Odell. 

4. Antlers of do. reported to have been found in the peat — in- 

formant. Mr. Eichard Chearullv. 

Proc. R.I.A, ;Vol 2. Ser. ii: 

Plate I. 






^ Roots 


ForsUr f C'OuiU/i 

TJssHER f/>u/ KiXAHAN — 0)1 CI Submarine Crannog. 65 

o. Two copper quoits (?) found in the peat between the crannog 
and the storm wall, circular, about eight inches in diameter, 
with a hole in the centre of each, and " dished," or 
hollow on one side, weighing about two and a half pounds 
each — informant, John Deacon, bailiff. 

6. A wicker structure said to have resembled a cradle; found 

in the peat by fishermen when digging for turf. 

7. A horse-shoe, peculiarly shaped inside to suit the frog, found 

in the peat ; now in possession of E,. J. Ussher. 


Since the reading of the above Paper, the sea has invaded and 
exposed some of the kitchen-midden of the crannog. — {November, 

66 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XY. — Ox AX AxciEXT Setileiiext ForxD AJ3orT TwEXTY-oxE Feet 


Co. pEEiiAXAGH. By Thomas Pluxejett. (With Plate II.) 

[Read, June 28, 1880.] 

OxE of the most interesting antiquarian discoTeiies yet made in 
Fermanagh, is that of the remains of an ancient settlement lately 
exposed in the Coal-bog near Boho, on that part of the bog attached 
to the to-^vnland of Kilnamadow, 

On the 25th of last ilay I was informed that while ^ilr. Bothwell 
was cutting a floor of peat in the Coal-bog he laid bare the 
ends of two posts, which projected a few inches above the floor, 
and that they seemed to have been cut with some sort of blunt in- 

I at once went to the place. On removing the surface for a few 
inches here and there, three other posts were found, all standing in a 
vertical position ; their tops were much decayed. On digging deeper 
down, we found that every one of the posts bore marks of some kind 
of axe. 

After a minute inspection, I perceived that we were standing on 
what was once an ai'tificial island, oval in shape, slightly elevated in 
the centre, and dipping with a gentle slope on all sides, the outlines 
of which can still be easily traced. It is 60 yards long, and 
14 yards across at its greatest width. Piles, or stakes, with 
rudely sharpened ends, and varying in size, are found at intervals all 
over this area, and rough oak planks, about the size of railway 
sleepers, may be seen lying in rows here and there, and generally 
resting on a layer of branches, the whole being covered over with a 
stratum of clay and stones, mingled with charcoal and ashes. It is 
quite manifest that this is the site of an ancient erannog, or artificial 
island. The surrounding depression, now filled with peat, known as 
the Coal-bog, and covering some scores of acres, once formed a large 
sheet of water. This, indeed, is the history of most of our lowland 
bogs. The evidence I adduce to support this hypothesis is the 
presence of lacustrine shells and shell marl underlying the peat. 

This ancient lake was connected with the Sillees Piver (which 
winds through the valley about a furlong from the bog) by a 
smaller stream, which sweeps round the margin of the bog at 

My next step was to make the acquaintance of the owner of the 
plot of bog containing the antiquities, and ask permission to explore 
it. He at once acceded to my request, and also added, that he and 
his son would assist by cutting turf around or between the posts, 
according to my wishes. After securing the help necessary to carry 

Plunkett — On an Ancient Settlement. 67 

on the exploration, we commenced by sinking a hole, or trench, five 
feet deep and five feet wide, down by the side of what was evidently 
a hilt, thus exposing the posts and framework of the side of the 
structure from top to bottom (Plate II., fig. 1). An oak beam, seven 
and a-half inches in diameter, and nine feet long, penetrated a hole 
that was rudely formed in each post four feet from its lower end. 
These holes, it would appear, were cut with a small blunt hatchet, 
and were formed by cutting in from each side of the post towards the 
centre. The holes are about eleven inches in diameter at the surface, 
and narrow in to a width of nine inches in the middle part of the 
post, and are so rudely haggled that they are neither round nor 

One of the posts was detached, and the lower or butt-end was 
covered over with many oval cuts. Evidently an attempt was made to 
dress the end, which was very imperfectly accomplished (Plate II., 
fig. 2). The cuts on all the posts and stakes found were more or less 
concave, and I am of opinion were formed by a stone axe : owing to 
the bluntness and the bulged foiTa of the sides of this instrument, the 
cuts made by it would necessarily have a concave surface ; whereas 
those made by a metal axe are long, clean, flat cuts. 

There was a small hole, or eye, cut in a prominent part in the 
butt-end of every post, and most unskilfully done. At first I was 
much puzzled to know their use. I then — (as the mud in which 
the posts were originally sunk must have been soft, as I found 
bosses of rushes and heath, now changed into peat, under the ends of 
the posts) — imagined that ropes made of the willow, or from the 
hides of animals, might have been stretched across from post to post, 
and fastened in the holes in their ends, to keep them from spreading, 
as the holes through which the oaken beams passed in the middle of 
the posts were irregularly round, and the beam also partly round ; so 
that the posts would be Hkely to shift their position unless bound in 
this way at their base. 

I subsequently changed my opinion, and I now believe they were 
formed for the purpose of hauling the huge trunks overland. Some 
of the posts measured nearly 30 inches in diameter. A rope made 
of skin could be attached to the trunk through this hole, by which it 
may have been dragged along overland to the then lake shore by 
either men or animals, and towed to the island by canoes. I care- 
fully examined the peat that filled these holes, and found no trace of 
anything else but peat. This strengthens my opinion relative to what 
the holes were designed for. 

We dug a trench five feet deep and five feet wide forward in a 
straight line, in a north-westerly direction, towards what appeared to 
be the top of another dilapidated hut. We had only excavated 
forward about two feet from the exposed side of the hut already 
referred to when we had to remove the stool of a huge pine-tree, 
which protruded its weathered top above the siuiace (Plate II. 

68 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

fig. 1). Before its decay it must have measured 14 feet in cir- 

This fragment, or stool, of the tree -was t^vo feet ahore the level 
of the floor of the hut ; its roots penetrated down through the stratum 
composed of clay, stones, charcoal, ashes, &c. (this layer is represented 
in Pig. 1). When this stool was uprooted, chips of oak, charcoal, and 
kitchen-midden clelris were found entangled in its rootlets, thus 
aifording convincing evidence of the fact that this Irish kr&al existed 
before the period when bog pine flourished in this locality. 

Several farmers who live close to the bog told me that the oak 
timber which formed the huts was like that grovm in upland soil, and 
was quite diiferent fi'om the ordinary black bog-oak. 

Having excavated a trench 17 yards from the first hut, just 
as was anticipated, we struck a second one, composed of timbers 
much more massive than that of the first, but as rudely shaped as 
could possibly be. 

"When the peat was cautiously removed from its interior I had it 
sketched (Fig. 3). Its form is rectangular, measuring inside six 
feet nine inches by six feet three inches, and eleven feet ten inches 
from "out to out." Three planks were placed like railway sleepers 
before each end of the hut, at the level of the floor ; they rested on 
branches of trees. 

From the number of burnt fragments found on the floor, it would 
appear probable that the roof was demolished by fire. Fragments of 
oak slabs (principally the ends) were found, some with one and 
others with two holes cut through them near the end ; these holes 
were from two to three inches in diameter. These planks were 
about 14 inches broad, and two inches thick. The height of 
the roof could not be accurately ascertained, but a close approxima- 
tion was amved at, owing to the fact that one of the side posts, 
which evidently carried the roof, was found still erect in situ; it was 
inserted into a hole in the end of one of the planks which composed the 
fioor (Fig. 3). The upper end of this post was slightly sharpened. 
I found that all the ends of the planks which I believe formed the 
roof had holes, into one of which probably the upper end of this post 
was inserted ; if this be correct, the interior of the hut could not 
have been more than a little over four feet high. 

The framework of this structure consisted of four posts of oak, 
some of them measuiing nearly 30 inches in diameter; they 
reached down into the ancient lake-mud. Theii- tops were decayed 
down to within 16 inches or so of the floor. A horizontal oak 
beam, as in the former hut, passed through each pair of posts. Oak 
planks, six and a-half feet long, stretched across from side to side, 
supported at each side by the oak beams, so that the whole resembled 
somewhat a common wooden bedstead, minus the cross-bars of wood 
which biud the two sides together at head and foot. 

Two large logs, or trunks, of oak trees rested horizontally agaiust 

Plunkett — On an Ancient Settlement. 69 

the outside of the posts at each side of the hut, the under surface of 
the lower ones being nearly at the level of the floor. They were not 
fastened to the posts of the hut in any way, but simply resting 
against them, and one laid on the top of the other (see fig. 3). The 
ends of the huts, it would appear, were not built up with wood like 
the sides. The occupiers may have closed the ends of the huts in a 
temporary way with some perishable material. 

During the progress of the work two flint implements were found; 
one of them was very sharp, although rudely formed. Several frag- 
ments of hand-made pottery, devoid of ornamentation, were also 
turned up, together with a quantity of hazel nutshells, that had been 
cracked for the kernel. A large quantity of moss was also dug up. 

Last year both the upper and lower parts of a corn rubber were 
found not far from the hut last explored, but they were thrown back 
into the hole in which they were discovered, as the flnder, I was 
told, thought they belonged to the " little folk." I found the top 
portion, but failed to get the hollow counterpart. It may not have 
been found on the ancient site, as there is an upper layer of ashes, 
&c., which shows that it was occupied at a later period. 

A modern dish, slightly oval, measuring 13 x 12 inches, with 
six feet, nearly round, the whole formed out of one piece of wood, 
was found about 100 yards from the huts, but at the same level. 
There is a similar, but five-footed, dish in the Museum of the 

A flat, thinnish, oval disk of wood, measuring 14 x 11 inches, 
apparently forming part of a wooden vessel, was found in same place 
with the huts. It is now in the Academy's ]^Iuseum. 

I had to suspend the work, as I could not carry on the explora- 
tions further at present. The whole surface of the bog was being 
covered over with freshly-cut peat ; but I hope to resume operations 
when opportunity presents itself. 

All the objects already found in this place furnish evidence of its 
great antiquity. The structures are certainly of the rudest type 
possible. I^either peg nor mortice were found in the structures. JS'o 
metal of any kind was found in connexion with them. 

A very substantial evidence of its great antiquity consists in the 
fact that dark compact peat slowly accumulated over the floors of the 
dwellings to a depth of at least 21 feet. Twenty-one " spades deep " of 
turf have been removed, and each of these measured from nine to ten 
inches. If to this we add the '' strippings" of each spit, and the 
levelling of the rough top of each floor of peat before cutting the turf, 
the whole will amount to the depth above-mentioned, and probably 

The rate of growth of peat varies very much with the conditions 
under which it is formed. According to the best authorities, peat 
such as I have described would not, at the best, accumulate more 
than one inch in 15 years. Mr. Kinahan, M.R.I.A., who seems 
to have carefully investigated the growth of peat, would contend for 


70 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

a slower rate of increase than this. It woukl seem, then, that we 
may safely calculate on an antiquity of nearly, and perhaps even 
more than, 4000 years for these log huts. 

Another interesting fact corroborating their great antiquity is 
this, that the giant pine-trees which are found at various levels in 
this bog were not found below the "horizon," on which the settle- 
ment stands, but directly above it. We, therefore, seem entitled to 
conclude that pine-trees were not yet growing in this locality when 
the huts were built. 

Plunkett — On some Sepulchral Remains. 71 

XYI. — On some Septjlchhal Remains fothstd at Kihicaenet, Co, 
Cavan". By Thomas Plunkett, M.R.H.A.A., Ireland. 

[Read, January 12, I88O.1] 

Seveeax objects of geological and antiquarian interest have been 
lately exposed while making the railway between Enniskillen and 
Manorhamilton, to the westward of the village of Blacklion, near the 
road that crosses "the natural bridge" over the mountain river 
discharging its waters into Upper Lough Macnean, this stream being 
part of the boundary between the counties of Cavan and Fermanagh. 

In a small tract of flat land between the road and lake, about a 
furlong broad, are knolls or hillocks of gravel and sandy clay ; sand- 
stone boulders are also strewn over the surface, although the under- 
lying rock formation is entirely composed of limestone. The gravel 
mounds are nearly all composed of the waste of sandstone, although 
such rock is not found nearer than the hills, some three miles distant, 
from whence the stream which traverses the valley takes its rise. 
The boulders must have been transported by the agency of ice ; and 
when the gravel mounds were formed, this stream would seem to 
have been much larger in volume, and probably covered the greater 
part of the valley. 

The railway has been made along the valley, and during the pro- 
gress of the work several of the natural mounds were cut through, 
laying bare interesting sections for the geologist. One mound, in the 
angle between the road and stream, measuring 75 feet in diameter, and 
12 feet high, was selected for the purpose of ballast for the line, and 
whilst it was being removed it was found to be mantled over with an 
artificial covering of small boulders to a depth of from two to three 
feet. Also, towards the centre, under the boulders, a double kist was 
found, formed of unhewn flags, both chambers being covered by one 
large flag. In each chamber was a sepulchral urn, containing what 
appeared to be burnt human remains. The urns were elaborately 
covered with an indented ornamentation. A curious bone object was 
found in one of the chambers ; a polished celt in the other. Shortly 
afterwards another kist, with one chamber much larger than either of 
the others, was laid bare on the east side of the mound ; it was closely 
covered with a large flag, and contained a large urn, which, unfor- 
tunately fell to pieces whilst being removed. This urn stood about 
15 inches high. It contained a large quantity of burnt, apparently 
human, remains, and was formed of the same coarse clay as the two 
other urns, but the ornamentation was entirely different, being in 

^ A Paper on this subject had already been read by Mr. W. F. "Wakeman, at 
the Cork Meeting of the Royal Archaeological Association of Ireland. 

72 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

relief, or raised, no part being incised. The raised ornament seems 
to have been made separately, and then attached to the urn before 
being burned. In the same kist with the large urn there was a 
beautiful flint implement, exquisitely formed, measuring a little more 
than two inches long, and about three-fourths of an inch broad, 
serrated all round the edge to the butt or bulb of percussion. Some 
antiquarians regard the raised style of urn ornamentation as superior 
in point of art to the indented, and therefore of probably later date ; 
yet here is found a flint implement associated with the large urn with 
raised ornamentation, and a polished stone celt with the indented urn. 
The kists were formed on the surface of the natural mound, and then 
covered with the boulders now found over the whole surface. Pro- 
bably, when the remainder of the mound is being removed, other kists 
may be discovered. 

Proc. R.I.A. :Vol 2. Ser. ii: ^ ^ 

Plate s. 

'' *-<i*5f\, ^jmk&^f'^i^' 

UssHER, Adams, and Kinahan — On Ballynamintra Cave. 73 

XVII. — Abstract of Eepoet ojf the Exploeation- of Ballynaitix- 
TKA Gate, Catpagh, is^eae. DixN-GAKYAiir. By E. J. Usshee, A. Leith 
Adams, H.D., F.E.S., and G. H. Kixahan, M.E.I.A. 

[Read, May 10, 1880.] 

The BaUynamintra Cave, which forms the subject of the foUowing 
pages, was cliscoyered by Mr. Ilssher in 1878, but was not explored 
until April, 1879, when the excavations were commenced along with 
Professor Leith Adams, who inspected their progress from time to 
time. Mr. 1\ in ah an subsequently made a careful survey of the cave. 

The cave of which we treat forms a horizontal tunnel for nearly 
thirty feet, which was nearly filled to the roof with strata, presenting 
the following general section, in descending order : — 

1. The brown earth, eighteen inches to. twenty-four inches in 

2. The grey stratum; earth and calcareous tufa, fourteen to twenty 
inches in depth. 

3. The pale, sandy earth. 

4. The crystalline stalagmite. 

5. The gravel, which rested on the limestone floor. 

Outside the present mouth flanking walls of rock form continua- 
tions of the sides of the cave, and indicate that it extended further 
out. The existing roof, for the flrst twenty-four feet, has an arched, 
worn appearance, and the left wall presents a hollow surface similar 
to that of the roof. On the right sicle was a range of swallow-holes 
that were concealed by the upper strata, but at a greater depth were 
empty ; towards them water-worn crevices ran down the walls on both 
sides of the. cave, and contained numerous relics. 

STE.4.TrFiED Deposits. 

I. — The Brown Earth. 

This was the uppermost deposit. Its materials corresponded with 
those which form the surface outside the cave. It contained great 
numbers of remains (the bones being usually yellow, and in frag- 
ments) of rabbit, hare, goat, ox, fox, pig, red deer, dog, marten, horse, 
and hedgehog, and of several birds ; the animals first in this list being 
the most numerously represented. We have also from the brown 
earth one metatarsal of bear (darker than the former bones), a number 
of broken bones of the Irish elk, blackened and exhibiting dencbites, 
as well as the fragments of a human skull (also exhibiting dendrites), 
and other human bones. 


74 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Everywhere in this stratum charcoal was frequent, and the follow- 
ing objects of human art occurred in it, viz. : — A polished celt of 
greenstone, flat, symmetrical, and approximately triangular ; a large 
flat amber bead, and two carved objects of bone. A small pointed 
bone implement, and a piece of charred hand-made pottery, were 
found either in this or in the next stratum. A bone chisel and a bone 
knife-handle, carved with concentric circles, and marked by an iron 
blade, were found in crevices, but may have been of the period of the 
upper stratum. 

II. — The Grey Earth and Calcareous Tufa. 

Under, but clearly defined from, the brown earth was a grey stra- 
tum, its staple consisting of earth and stones, apparently similar to 
the materials of the first stratum, but usually pervaded by carbonate 
of lime in the form known as calc tufa. This calcareous material was 
found permeating the earth of this stratum, in which it formed dis- 
tinct whitish seams, like successive floors. From the fifteenth foot 
inwards it formed a hard whitish cake, resting on the crystalline sta- 
lagmite floor. This second stratum yielded most interesting relics of 
man and of extinct animals. The bones were usually blackened and 
covered with pale dendritic marks. A large proportion of them be- 
longed to the Irish elk : these represented at least flve individuals. 
There were numbers of fragments, but no large bone entire. The 
ends of the marrow-bones were always broken of, and the shafts gene- 
rally split lengthways. Fragments of the antlers were found, and the 
small bones of the limbs and feet were numerous. Some of the bones 
and pieces of antler show indentations, as if they had been gnawed. 

The few human bones which were found in the grey earth were 
blackened, but those encrusted with the calc tufa were straw-coloured. 
Bones of rabbits, foxes, and domestic animals were much rarer in this 
stratum than in the brown earth, but those of deer and hare were more 
numerous. Some blackened bones of bear and one of wolf were also 
found in the grey earth. Charcoal occurred in this stratum even more 
abundantly than in the brown earth; it formed a seam in the grey 
earth, suggesting an old floor or hearth, and detached lumps of char- 
coal occurred both above and below this. The only bone implement 
from this stratum is the worn, pointed metacarpal of a small ruminant. 
Eude stone implements were, however, plentiful. "Worn lumps of 
sandstone, of shapes convenient for the hand, were found through the 
grey earth. These show unmistakable marks of having served for 
striking and cleaving with, possibly for smashing the marrow-bones ; 
with them were found some stones, cracked and blackened by fire. A 
marine mussel and a limpet-shell were also procured from this stra- 

111.— The Pale Sandy Earth 

was of a pale brown, inclining to ochre. It passed in places into 
gravelly sand. This pale sandy earth enveloped and adhered to the 

UssHER, Adams, and Kin ah an — On Ballynamintra Cave. 75 

broken masses of stalagmite hereafter mentioned. It rested on the 
gravel. Near the swallow-holes were found in it an assemblage of 
bones of bear, similar in size to bones of the same species found in the 
stalagmite a few feet further in : they may have belonged to the same 
individual. The great majority of bones in this stratum were of 
a pale buff tint, like those in the stalagmite, and, like them, were 
heavy, highly mineralized, and very brittle. Bits of charcoal occurred 
occasionally ; but traces of man in this pale sandy earth appear to be 
few and doubtful, while the species of animals, though fewer, were 
all represented in the second stratum. 

lY. — The Crystalline Stalagmite. 

In every part of the cave this deposit, though sometimes shattered, 
was found, always buried under the preceding strata, and either rest- 
ing on or bearing traces of the gravel beneath. From the twelfth foot 
inwards it extended across the cave in an unbroken floor of great 
thickness, from wall to wall ; but outside this limit the stalagmite 
was found broken up and disturbed, lying embedded in the pale sandy 
earth. A disconnected mass of the stalagmite floor contained, in its 
lower portion, next the gravel, jaws and other bones of a large bear, 
which appear to have been deposited in the flesh, as adjoining bones 
of the skeleton were found together. Near them was also embedded a 
metacarpal bone of deer, with characters of reindeer, and in another 
mass of stalagmite some teeth of red deer. This stratum contained no 
trace of man. The stalagmite floor rose inwards, until, at twenty- 
four feet from the cave's mouth, there was only an interval of from 
six to twelve inches between it and the roof, which interval was choked 
up with accumulations. 

The Gravel. 

This deposit, which lay directly on the limestone floor, was uni- 
form in character, and contained no animal remains nor other relics. 
It was of small size, composed of rounded and subangular fragments of 
the old red sandstone and other rocks, but not of limestone. 

The Inner Cavity. 

Beyond the twenty-fourth foot from the entrance the cave loses 
its tunnel shape, expanding into two irregular chambers, in each of 
which is a great upward opening. On the bottom was the gravel, 
next the stalagmite floor. Upon this was tenacious clay, passing up- 
wards into loam, which, with sandstone and limestone blocks contained 
in it, and a profusion of limestone rubble cemented to the roof by calc 
tufa, filled up the inner cavity and both its chimneys. 

The earthy contents of this cavity, and the calcareous tufa, justify 
us, by their similarity to the materials of the first and second stratum 
in the outer part of the cave, in correlating them, and in supposing 
that the latter were derived from within. But one striking difference 
must be emphatically stated, viz., in no part of the inner cavity have 
any remains of ancient animals been found, nor any traces of man. 


76 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Table of the Animal Eematn'S. 





Grisly bear, . . . . 

Irish elk, 

Eed deer, or Keindeer, 



Goat, or sheep, . . . 







Hedgehog, . . . . 




Insectivora, .... 
Carnivora, . . . . 


Ungulata, .... 
Grand total, . . . 

































108 133 









UssHER, Adams, and KijStahan — On BaUynamintra Cave. 77 


Professor of IS'atural History, Queen's College, Cork. 

Man. — The human bones presented precisely the same outward 
discolourations as those of animals with which they were associated. 
They represented at least two individuals. 

Ox [Bos longifronsf). — The remains of a small ox were, in all pro- 
bability, those of the Celtic short-horn. 

Eed Deee. ( Cer^'^(s elaphus). — Bones referrible to red deer indicated 
an animal of rather small dimensions, and of the usual type found in 
the peat and the alluvial deposits. Two bones might be doubtfully 
claimed for reindeer. 

Ieish Elk {Cervus megaceros). — This animal was by far the most 
numerously represented, excepting the hare and the rabbit. The re- 
mains of at least five individuals were discovered. With few excep- 
tions, all the bones were much broken, dark-coloured, with dendritic 
markings, and displayed solutions of continuity in their long axes. 
Some displayed traces of gnawing. 

Beak {tfrms ferox). — The bears' remains showed the owners to 
have been large individuals, and of the species represented by the 
grisly bear. 

Inferences from the Facts discovered. 

The history of BaUynamintra Cave appears to be divisible into the 
following Periods : — 

First Period. — Formation of the rock cavity through aqueous 
agency, and deposition of the gravel by a tranquil stream. 

Second Period. — The cave .ceases to be a river-channel, is inhabited 
by bears, and the stalagmite floor is formed on the gravel, entombing 
the bones of the bears and their prey. 

Third Period. — The stalagmite floor becomes partially broken up, 
and the pale sandy earth is intruded, enveloping the broken stalag- 
mite and various animal remains. 

Fourth Period. — Accumulation of earth, accompanied by the de- 
position of the calc tufa. The cave inhabited by men who were 
contemporaneous with the Irish elk, and occasionally by bears. 

That the deposition of the two upper earthy strata was gradual 
and successive is clearly shown by the layers of calc tufa formed one 
above another in the grey earth, and by the subsequent cessation of 
that calcareous material in the brown earth that overlaid it. This is 
corroborated by the sequence of the animal remains in the grey earth, 
and in the brown earth, as well as by the dissimilar colouring of the 
bones, the Irish elk being the characteristic animal of the former stra- 
tum, while domestic animals were most plentiful in the latter. 

These facts show that the human remains, implements, and char- 
coal-bed, found with the remains of Irish elk in the grey earth, were 

78 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

deposited there contemporaneously with. them. The charcoal and cal- 
careous seams mark successive floors during the slow accumulation of 
a refuse-heap, during which man was the chief occupant of the cave. 
The condition of the larger bones, especially of those of the Irish elk, 
is an additional proof of the human occupation of the cavity at a time 
when those animals lived ; and the chipped hammer-stones found in 
the same stratum were, in all probability, the very tools whereby 
those bones were broken and split along their length, for their mar- 

The intrusion of the animal and human relics through the roof- 
openings of the inner cavity is negatived by the fact that, throughout 
its accumulations, no ancient exuviae nor implements were found. 

The indentations on a few of the pieces of bone and antler may 
have been made by the teeth of large carnivorous quadrupeds, during 
the absence of the human occupants ; but the antlers of the Irish elk 
could hardly have been introduced by any other agency than that of 

It has been suggested that the Irish elk's bones may have been 
brought in, after the extinction of that species, in a fossil state ; but 
it has not been shown that the cave-men could have had any sufficient 
reason for bringing in and breaking up so large a number, nor why so 
many of the small bones of carpus and tarsus and phalanges were 
brought into the cave, which can only be accounted for by the limbs 
having been brought there in the flesh. How the fragments of human 
bones got mixed with the stone implements and animal remains we 
do not at present venture to suggest. 

Fifth Period. — Calcareous deposits cease. The inhabitants use 
carved bone implements and polished celts. The Irish elk and bear 
disappear, giving place to domesticated races of animals. 

Abeaham — On a Model of a Human Face. 79 


Coast of jSTew Gthnea. (With Plate III.). By P. 8. Abraham, 
M. A., B. Sc, Fellow and Curator of the Museum, Eoyal College 
of Surgeons in Ireland. 

[Eead, January 10, 1881]. 

In a recent number of the Journal of Anatomy and Pliysiologtf 
Professor Turner described two "masks" formed from human facial 
bones, which had come from New Ireland or New Britain, islands 
lying to the north-east of New Guinea. These peculiar fabrications 
do not appear to be unknown to travellers in those parts ; yet, as Pro- 
fessor Turner observes, they had not been previously described, nor 
indeed scarcely alluded to ; and as I have been unable to discover any- 
thing of the kind in the ethnological collections of the British and of 
some other Museums recently visited by me, I am led to publish this 
note on the specimen (PI. III.) which is now in my care at the Museum 
of the Eoyal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Together with a Papuan 
and an Australian skull, it was presented to the Museum by Stail Sur- 
geon Keelan, E. N., and was shown by me in December, 1879, at a 
meeting of the Dublin Biological Club. As in Professor Turner's smaller 
example, which resembles the present one in most respects, the fron- 
tal, ethmoid, and all the facial bones take part in the formation, as 
well as the greater part of the sphenoid. The separation of the bones 
from the rest of the cranium has been effected along a plane passing 
through the coronal suture, across the zygomata, through the greater 
wings of the sphenoid, and through the body of the latter near to its 
place of union with the occipital bone. The inferior maxilla is firmly 
fixed, approximately in situ^ posteriorly by means of threads passed 
several times round each ramus at the neck, and apparently around 
the malar, through the orbit, and anteriorly, half way between the 
angle and the symphysis, by other threads bound to pieces of wood, 
which are securely tied above and behind, probably to the palate 
bones, from which they come down obliquely to the jaw-bone. The 
condyles and coronal processes of the jaw are entire; but the latter are 
almost entirely hidden by the cement composition which has been 
used to model the face, and to fill in the orbits as well as the floor and 
back of the mouth. The cement substance was supposed to consist of 
" chuman " or Madrepore lime, but as it does not effervesce with acid, 
on ignition turns from its brown colour to black, burns with flame, 
and leaves a copious ash — it is probably a mixture of clay with some 
resinous material. None of it is upon the forehead or upon the chin. 
The eyebrows are represented by a sharp rim, modelled upon the supe- 
rior margins of the orbits ; the nose, which is very short, possesses a 

1 Vol. XIY., page 475, Plate XXX. 

80 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

longitudinal ridge, but without any attempt at a bridge ; its tip is 
blunt and rounded, and situated high up ; the septum elongated, pro- 
minent and rather thick ; and the nares are large and wide, and look 
more forwards than downwards. The dimensions of this curious repre- 
sentation of a nasal organ are : — Extreme length from the ''nasion," 
or " nasal point," to lowest part of septum, 53 mm. ; from centre of 
blunt apex to bottom of septum, 23 mm. ; greatest width across nares, 
34 mm. ; thickness of septum, 5 mm. There is no attempt to fashion 
lips, the dental alveoli, which are partially filled up and blackened, 
being quite superficial. The teeth have been all extracted ; and, as 
the alveolar margins of the upper and lower jaws have not been 
brought into contact, the mouth has the appearance of being partly 
open. The eyeballs are constructed out of dark-green opercula, painted 
white around the margin so as to leave transversly oval pupils. 

Although much cracked across and rubbed, enough of the ornamen- 
tation of the face remains to show that it has been very elaborate. 
The whole surface seems to have been first smeared with white lime, 
and then to have had the colouring so laid on as to produce a symme- 
trically alternating pattern. Over the orbits are broad sub-triangular, 
or rather semi-crescentic, patches meeting above in the middle line, 
the right one red, the left black ; the eyebrows themselves seem to 
have been the right black and the left red. "Within the orbits a red 
line encircles the right, a black the left eye; below, occupying the 
front of each cheek, are the remains of a large triangular patch, black 
on the right side, and red on the left. Red and black patches, right 
and left respectively, are upon the chin ; and beneath these again are 
narrow black and red lines. The nose shows traces of having been red. 

The decoration is completed by a light-brown beard, formed of 
some vegetable fibre, 3 to 4 cm. long, arranged in a row of close tufts, 
standing out radially from the lower part of the face ; and by a head- 
dress formed of white grebe feathers, and extending upwards from the 
beard around the face. As may be inferred from this description, the 
pantaloon-like tout-ensemlle of the specimen is very striking. 

It appears that this parti-colouration, and use of the three colours 
red, black, and white, is not considered unfashionable amongst the 
more sesthetically inclined natives of ]!^ew Guinea and the neighbour- 
ing islands. Thus, according to Dr. Comrie (" Anthropological Notes 
on Xew Guinea," — Journ. of Anthro}}. Inst.), some of the inhabitants 
have ordinarily their faces decorated by a few streaks of red and white 
paint. Again, Mr. Moseley says, in his interesting Paper on the in- 
habitants of the Admiralty Islands : — " The male natives occasionally 
had their chests and faces reddened with a burnt red clay. Sometimes 
one lateral half of the face is reddened, the other being left uncoloured. 
When vermilion was given to the natives, they put it on cleverly and 
symmetrically in curved lines leading from the nose under each eye, 
showing that they understood how to use it with effect. No doubt 
they paint themselves elaborately on festive occasions, in war, &c. 
They were fond of being painted, and two natives who were painted 

Abraham — On a Model of a Human Face. 81 

on board all over with engine-room oil-paint, yellow and green, in 
stripes and various facetious designs, were delighted." Mr. Moseley 
further says that ''the skulls of turtles suspended in the temples are 
ornamented with patterns painted in those usual colours. The human 
skulls are likewise decorated, and some have eyes of pearl-shell in- 
serted into the orbits on a background of black clay." 

It is not clear whether it is their friends or their fallen enemies 
who are thus decorated by the Melanesians. It seems rather un- 
likely that an enemy's face should be beautified in the highest style 
of the prevailing art ; moreover, I have been recently informed by a 
medical man who has travelled in those parts, that these representa- 
tions of the human countenance are held in the greatest respect. I 
am therefore inclined to the belief that it is in this manner that the 
memory of distinguished friends is perpetuated. 


Model of a Human Face, from an Island near the Eastern Coast of New Guinea. 

82 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XIX. — Ok" a Collection of Cea^'ia aicd othee, Objects of Ethn-qlo- 


Plates IV. and V.). By P. S. Abkaham, M. A., B.Sc, P.R.C.S., 
&c. ; Curator of tlie ILuseiim, Pv,oyal College of Surgeons in Ire- 

[Read, Febraary 28, 1881.] 

The interesting collection whicli I have the honour of laying before 
the Eoyal Irish Academy this evening "n'as made by Dr. Wm. Allan, 
Assistant- Surgeon in the Colonial Service, in the course of the year 
1880 ; and was recently presented by him to the Museum of the Royal 
College of Surgeons in Ireland. As -svill be seen directly, many of the 
specimens are of interest as illustrating the stage at which the natives 
of South-western Africa have arrived in practical arts and manufac- 
tures. It is, however, especially to the crania that I wish to direct 
attention ; for they seem to me to present certain characters which 
sharply differentiate them from the generality of negro skulls, and to 
be, therefore, of considerable importance £rom an anthropological point 
of view. I propose to commence with the consideration of these skulls, 
and, after giving the scanty history which I possess as to the tribe to 
which they belong, &c., I shall enumerate a few of their more impor- 
tant craniometric indices and measurements, and shall then compare 
them with skulls of average negro type. Pive of the specimens, viz., 
those marked A, B, C, D, E, once formed part of the mechanism of 
natives of the Cabenda district, which is situated to the north of the 
mouth of the River Congo. The specimen P belonged to a member of 
the Congo tribe ; and, as will shortly be seen, differs in a marked man- 
ner from the Cabenda crania. 

As far as I am aware, there are no skulls of Cabenda negroes in 
the three principal British Collections, viz., in that of the Army Medi- 
cal Department at !N^etley, in the Hunterian Museum, or in the late 
Dr. Bernard Davis' Collection, which is now also at the Royal College 
of Surgeons in London.^ 

A and B belonged to males of adult age ; C is also the cranium of 
an adult male, probably of the same tribe ; D is the calvaria of a Ca- 
benda woman, to judge from its general coniiguration, and from the 
small development of the muscular ridges and processes ; E is the cal- 
varia of a male, most likely of the same district ; and P is the cranium 
of a Congo man, approximately of middle age. It is most unfortunate 

1 According to Dr. Allan, the Cabendas are the most intelligent negroes to be 
found along the coast, and are much preferred as servants by the European settlers. 
Their physical and mental superiority "s^as alluded to by Mr. "Win wood Eeade in 
his work on " Savage Africa," in which he mentions the fact that they, together 
with "Krumen," were seldom taken as slaves, when that commodity was a staple 
one on the West Coast. Dr. Allan informs me that the obtaining of these bones 
was a matter of some difficulty and risk, for many Africans, not unKke the natives 
of some more civilised countries, have a superstitious horror of meddling with the 
remains of their countrymen. 

Abraham — On a Collection of Crania, 


that none of them are complete skulls ; the lower jaw being wanting 
in A, E, C, and F, as well as in D and E, which also lack the bones of 
the face. The two latter calvarias and the cranium show signs of hav- 
ing been burnt ; and they all show marks of having been gnawed, pos- 
sibly by rats. The incisors and several of the other teeth have been 
in consequence lost in A, B, and C ; and the alveolar margins of A and 
B have suffered to such an extent, that the alveolar indices for these 
crania can be regarded as only approximate. In the annexed Table the 
principal measurements and indices are given for the specimens, as far 
as they could be taken.^ 























































































































2 The methods of measurement adopted by Prof. Flower in his Catalogue have 
been here followed, and similar abbreviations used, viz. : Circumference, C ;. 

H Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

A few other measuresments may also be tabulated : — 







Breadth of face, or inter- ) 
zygomatic diameter, . j 





Frontal breadth, . . . 







Occipital breadth, . 







Fronto-occipital arch, 







Intermeatal arch, . . . 







As good average measurements as could possibly be taken to com- 
pare with the above are those published by Professor Flower in his 
Catalogue of the collection of the College of Surgeons in England. 
His figures are, for " African negroes of various tribes:" — 

Bi Dolicocephalic, 

Hi Hypsicephalic, 

Ai Prognathous, . 

Ni Platyrhine, 

Oi Mesoseme, . 

Ca Mesocephalic, . 

736, (42) 
735, (42) 

1044, (36) 
568, (43) 
863, (43) 

1388, (26) 

For further comparison I may put down the average indices of 
three typical African crania of unknown tribes, which I have recently 
measured at the College of Surgeons. They are as follows : — 



706, and therefore extremely dolicocephalic. 

746 ,, hypsicephalic. 

1052, very prognathous. 

581, very platyrhine. 

880, mesoseme. 

It will be seen that the two Cabenda crania A and B show con- 
siderable uniformity in all their indices ; their most marked common 
character being the absolute absence of prognathism. Although their 
alveolar indices could not be accurately taken, as I have mentioned 

Length, L; Breadth, B; Breadth index = " Cephalic index", Bi; Height, H; 
Height index, H i ; Basi-nasal distance, BN ; Basi-alveolar distance, BA ; Alveolar 
index, A i ; Nasal height, N h ; Nasal width, N w ; Nasal index, N i ; Orbital 
width, w ; Orbital height, h ; Orbital index, i ; Capacity of cranium, Ca. 

Abraham — On a Collection of Crania. 85' 

above, there can be no doubt as to the non-protrudence of the facial 
bones ; and we may certainly consider the index in each case to be not 
much over 950. Crania which have an alveolar index above 1030 are 
considered by anthropologists to be prognathous, between 980 and 
1030 to be mesognathous, and below 980 to be orthognathous. These 
two crania are therefore extremely orthognathous ; and, indeed, are 
more so than the ordinary run of European crania, for which, from the 
measurement of 184 examples, Professor Plower has assigned an aver- 
age index of 962. The cranium C, on the other hand, shows an 
approach to the ordinary negro type in the development of the face ; 
but even here the prognathism is so little marked that it may be con- 
sidered to be mesognathic. There is no means of judging as to the 
gnathism of D and E ; but from the outline of the forehead I should 
say it would be orthognathic in either case. In looking over the Cata- 
logue of Professor Flower's collection, I find that the lowest alveolar 
index is 970, and is given for the cranium of a male native of the 
Gold Coast. Dr. Bernard Davis, in his Thesaurus Craniorum, men- 
tions that one or two of his "West African skulls are exceedingly 
European in form ; but he gives no measurements by which we can 
determine their alveolar indices. Burton, Winwood Reade and others 
have spoken of the "beauty" of some of the African women, by 
which, I suppose, they mean, among other things, an approach to an 
orthognathic type ; but until the present time I am not aware that 
any such European-shaped skulls have been actually brought forward 
and measured. This peculiar formation for negro skulls at once gives 
origin to a suspicion that perhaps wg are considering the skulls of a 
mixed race ; but, apart from the history, the other measurements indi- 
cate them to be veritably of negroes, with some of the racial charac- 
teristics most strongly marked. The doliocephaly, for instance, is 
extreme. "While Professor Elower's average cephalic index for negroes 
is 736, the average for these specimens is only 718 ; and the two, A 
and B, which are so orthognathous, are the most dolicocephalic of all, 
even more so than my three old negro skulls, which gave an average 
index of 706. Similarly, the nasal indices show that the negro charac- 
ter, in the respect of being platyrhine, is extreme — the average figure 
given by Professor Flower for negroes being 568, while these have 
indices of 596, 612, and 551, respectively. 

The cranial capacities, measured by means of rape-seed, are also in 
the first four specimens indicative of low type. In Professor Flower's 
estimate the negro skulls appear to be of mesocephalic capacity, the 
average internal contents measuring 1388 cc. ; only my specimen E, 
which is doubtfully of the Cabenda tribe, is really mesocephalic ; the 
others, and especially those labelled B, C, and D, are exceedingly mi- 
crocephalic — in fact, exceptionally so. 

"Without now attempting to give a detailed description of each of 
these crania, I may cursorily remark upon some of the more striking 
of their individual peculiarities. 

In A (PI. IV., A and A a), although the sagittal and other sutures 

86 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

are united, there is some tendency to scaphocephaly. At the pterion 
on each side the four bones, frontal, parietal, squamosal, and alisphe- 
noid, almost meet in a point, in the way so common in the lowest 
races, and reminding one of the simian arrangement. The intertem- 
poral diameter is as large as the interparietal ; the nasal bones are 
small, unsymmetrical, and flat ; and the interorbital septum is wide. 
There is a well-marked, almost right angle, between the floor of the 
inferior nares and the front of the upper jaw. The palate is compara- 
tively small and flat, with the alveolar margin well curved ; one of the 
fore molars on the right side has been long lost ante mortem; no trace 
remains of the basilar suture ; the occipital condyles are broad, short, 
and flat ; and the foramen magnum is elongated from before back- 

The wide face and narroAV brain-case of B (PI. IV., fig. S, B and 
B a) is very striking. In this also the septum between the orbits is 
extremely thick ; the nasal bones are flat, and in line with the frontal ; 
and here, again, we find the oral portion with comparatively small 
development, although the sides of the arch are somewhat parallel, 
and thus showing an approach to the lower animal form. The sutures 
at the pterion have the normal arrangement of higher races. 

Beyond its microcephaly I need say little about the cranium C. It 
has been much scored by the weather, and otherwise subjected to ill- 

The female calvaria D has the sagittal suture in nearly complete 
ankylosis ; in E the two parietals are completely united, leaving no 
trace of the suture ; and in F a similar condition is commencing. In 
the Thesaurus Craniorum Dr. Bernard Davis remarks that "this 
premature ossification of the sutures is very frequent in African skulls;" 
and I have found the union in three out of the four negro skulls which 
are in the College of Surgeons of Dublin Museum. The specimens E 
and E have been subjected to the action of fire, whether accidentally 
or not I cannot say. The Congo cranium F (PI. IV., fig, E) is of 
the typical negro type ; and is noteworthy for its great prognathism, 
which is of the alveolar kind, that is to say, the great protrusion 
is in the alveolar margin ; but a still more important peculiarity of 
this jaw is the fact that it possesses an extra true molar tooth on each 
side, in line with the others (fig. E, 1). Additional molars were first 
pointed out by Soemmering in a negro cranium which I believe is 
still in the Giessen Museum. Supernumerary molars in negroes are 
mentioned by Bernard Davis ; but they are extremely rare. 

The remaining pieces of the collection will, perhaps, be considered 
of more general interest. The peculiar implement (PI. V., fig. a), 
with which we may begin, is not a musical instrument, nor a weapon, 
as might be supposed, but a pipe for smoking the so-called "leamba;" 
which, to judge from the smell which is still retained by the pipe, as 
well as on the authority of Du Chaillu, is simply Indian hemp, or the 
dried leaves of Cannahis satka, which appears to be cultivated all over 
central Africa. Livingstone mentions it as being one of the crops 

Abraham — On a Collection of Crania. 87 

raised by the natives on the banks of the Zambesi and its tributaries, 
and Du Chaillu and others allude to its being grown on the "West coast. 
It is interesting to find the use of this drug, to procure exhilaration 
and subsequent narcotism, so widely spread in Africa as well as in 
Asia. Dr. Allan tells me that these " leamba" pipes are smoked by 
consumptives on the West coast ; and, no doubt, their effect, if used 
in moderation, would be soothing in painful sicknesses. The bowl 
of this pipe is formed of a brownish clay, and is not of an out-of-the- 
way size, while the stem is made of an elongated large fruit, of what 
plant I am unable to say; it measures 55 cm. in length, and 34 cm. in 
circumference. In Dr. Livingstone's work on the Zambesi, a huge 
native tobacco pipe is figured, but in that the bowl is the largest part. 

The three curious examples of native pottery may now be consi- 
dered : the two larger pieces are water-coolers, and are known by the 
name of " maringas." Eormed of a somewhat porous clay, a slight 
exudation of the contained water becomes possible ; and from the film 
so formed on the exterior, evaporating in the surrounding warm cur- 
rents of the atmosphere, we have a physical explanation for their cool- 
ing properties. Similar porous water-coolers are in use in most warm 
countries, and these recairto me the so-called "water-monkeys" of 
Jamaica. There is nothing remarkable in the shape of the vessel 
(PL Y. y), except, perhaps, that its lines are elegant, and its contour 
singularly symmetrical — when we remember that in this case the 
potter had no lathe or other mechanical contrivances. The ornamen- 
tation is simple, and is effected by a series of fine lines round the neck 
and body, and by dark paint, laid on rather unevenly, in a symmetri- 
cal pattern. Together with that which I am now alaout to describe, 
it came from Loanga. 

The specimen (PL V. /3) is unlike anything of the kind which I have 
seen described or figured. It- is so fashioned that a current of air can 
pass, as it were, right through the mass of the liquid, the evaporation 
being thereby more extensive, and the cooling more rapid. It is as 
though two separate flasks were joined together by three tubes. Such 
an elaborate piece of plastic-work must require a great amount of 
ingenuity and skill on the part of the designer and maker. It is orna- 
mented more elaborately, chiefly by lines and bands of the same brown- 
ish paint, and by lines and indentations in the clay itself. 

The small jug (PI. Y. 8) is the handiwork of bushmen of South- 
west Africa. Low and degraded as is this race, both physically and men- 
tally, this modest little attempt at any rate shows that even a bushman 
has an idea of form, and a dawning notion of art. The mark of the 
savage fire, in front of which it was baked, is to be seen near the 
handle ; and around the body rough, blackened scorings form a pat- 
tern, and relieve the monotony of a uni- coloured surface. Primitive 
and lob-sided though the whole achievement may be, less elegant and 
artistic utensils are to be seen upon many a modern sesthetic wall. 

IS'ext follow two calabashes, richly ornamented with carvings, into 
which white chalk has been rubbed, and paint. These are commonly 
used for carrying water all over Africa ; and Livingstone, in his work 

88 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

on the Zambesi, alludes to their elaborate ornamentation. The Cala- 
bash tree is now common in the West Indies, and generally to be seen 
about the negro villages. Its large, hard, and durable gourd-like fruit, 
when ripe and dry, is an essential to the black housewife, being used 
for all kinds of utensils ; and when young and soft, it makes an excel- 
lent pickle. 

The finish and quality of the knives and spears which are on the 
table show that the fabricators were no mean adepts in iron work. I 
think it was Dr. Livingstone who, in 1864, first pointed out that the 
nation of Africa may, at this period, be considered to be in their 
" Iron age." He found the " llanganja people," who inhabit the 
country watered by the River Shire, which flows into Lake Niassa, to 
be great workers in iron, extracting the metal from its ores and manu- 
facturing it into excellent hoes, knives, spear heads, bracelets, &c., 
and some of these, as well as forges, &c., were figured by him. 

Captain Burton, in 1863, described the Fans, who inhabit the 
interior of the South-west coast, as " cunning workers in iron, which 
is their wealth;" and he mentions their spears " of cruel and fantastic 
shape," and cauious lotus-shaped knives, "with blades as broad as they 
are long, "as is the fashion of the llpongwe." Other travellers in 
Africa have found iron-workers in other parts ; and Captain Cameron, 
in a Paper on " The Anthropology of Africa," read before the Anthro- 
pological Institute, in 1877, gives a very interesting account of the 
iron- working which he saw. 

The knife, marked 27, is a double-edged chopping-knife, in its 
wooden sheath ; the blunt scjuare apex is curious, and its breadth and 
lotus-like shape bear out Capt. Burton's remarks quoted above. 

The weapon marked 28, like the foregoing, is of the ]\Ipongwe tribe 
and of the Fans iron. A very similar one is figured by Du Chaillu 
as a "war knife used by the Fans," in his work on Equatorial 
Africa. The shape is graceful, and would, no doubt, prove a service- 
able weapon in a hand-to-hand fight. The barbs, wound round with 
brass wire, are probably intended for ornament. The two iron imper- 
fect circles are said by Dr. Allan to be necklets, and to be also belong- 
ing to the Mpongwe tribe. 

The spears are of the Combe tribe, and come from Bata ; they are 
well balanced for throwing. Du Chaillu figures several Fan spears, 
which are very similar to these ; and he says that the accuracy of aim 
and force with which the natives cast them is surprising. The small 
barbs, which are just behind the blade in the longer of the two, are 
probably for use as well as ornament — in case the latter should snap 
off, to keep the shaft sticking in the flesh. 

The harpoon is also of Alrican iron, and is from the Congo river. 
The negroes of this part are great fishermen, and are clever with the 
harpoon, which they use for turtle and large fish, as well as for 
whales, when they get the chance. 

The little basket is of the Cabenda tribe, and is a pretty little 
example of such work. 

The grass mat is from the Gaboon. It is a rather coarse example 


Proc. R.I.A., Vol 2. Ser ii. 

Plate 3. 



P \ 

J- ;' 4 


-^ V '/^ v 

-^<<* '^/ /' \^\^'-"' 

Abraham — On a Collection of Crania. 89 

of the textile art ; in parts of the interior, however, the natives vs^eave 
fine and soft cloth out of certain kinds of grass fibre. 

The two skull-caps are of grass, and come from Loanga and Sierra 
Leone respectively. 

The cowrie belts are from Old Calabar and from Bonny. The 
larger is of the value equivalent to about sixpence in our money ; but 
it would purchase a large amount of yams and other food. 

The hair-pin is carved out of a hippopotamus tooth, and comes 
from Cape Lopez, at the mouth of the Graboon. The belles of that 
country complete their coiffure by sticking one of these pins into the 
front of the hair, according to the figure given in Du Chaillu's book. 

The ivory armlet was brought from " Grand Cess," and is one of 
those worn by Krumen. Mr. Winwood Reade, in his work on 
" Savage Africa," states that the Krumen wear bracelets of ivory as a 
sign that they have visited the Cameroons or the Gaboon country. 
In other parts of Africa distinguished ladies sometimes wear similar 
armlets. Thomas A. Greer Forbes, in his work on " Africa," mentions 
that the principal wife of a powerful Makololo chief wore a large 
ivory ring on the arm above each elbow — of course in addition to 
about a dozen brass or copper bangles on the forearm. I believe that 
this African fashion is now becoming prevalent in other countries. 

The wooden figure on the table is an idol or " Juju," which was 
purchased at Loanga. It may be supposed that it was prayed to in- 
efficaciously, and therefore sold by its worshippers. From its white 
colour, it probably represents an evil spirit ; for although in European 
countries the incarnation of wickedness is commonly considered to 
assume a black personality, among the black races he is generally 
believed to be white. As regards the sex of this deity, upon anato- 
mical grounds, I am not quite certain whether it is intended to be 
male or female. It is probably the latter; and we know that some of the 
Africans consider their evil spirits sometimes to be of the gentler sex. 

The photographs are of females of Gambia. The central figure has 
arrived at full maturity, and the characteristic pendulous mammas of 
the negro mother are well seen in her case. Another point of anato- 
mical interest shown in the photograph is her large and protrudent 
umbilicus. Dr. Allan found similar formations in from 5 to 10 per 
cent, of the natives of the South-west coast, and in many cases they 
are veritable umbilical herniae. I recollect to have observed many 
large umbilici among the negro children of Jamaica. 

When we remember that Dr. Allan got together this collection 
without very great difficulty, and within a few months, it is a matter 
for wonder and regret that his example is not more often followed, 
and that the alumni of our colleges and schools who travel abroad do 
not more often remember the museum of their Alma Mater in the 
way Dr. Allan has done. In conclusion, I wish to state that the 
collection has been in my hands but a short time, and to express my 
regret that several circumstances have prevented me from treating it 
in as exhaustive a manner as it deserves. 


90 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


Illustrating Dr. Abraham's Paper o^ a Collection of Crania 
and other objects. 



A, Craniiun of a Cabenda Negro. 
A a, Profile of ditto. 

B, Cranium of anotlier Cabenda Xegro. 
B a, Ditto in profile. 

F, View of Upper 3&vr of a Congo Xegio. 

F 1, Supernumerary Molar Teeth in ditto. 



a, Pipe for smoking "leamba," from South- West Africa. 

^ and 7. Water-coolers, or "maringas," fi'om Loanga. 
5, A Bushman Jug, fi-om South- West Africa. 

Proc. R.I.A. Vol 2. Ser ii. 



A, a. 

Proe. R.I.A. Vol 2. Ser iL" 

Plate 5. 




Ferguson — On the Doonmy of the Round To/ver, Kildare. 91 

XX. — On the Dookway op the liouND Tower of Kildaee. By Sir 
Samuel Ferguson, LL.D. 

[Read, November 8, 1880.] 

A lofty church tower stood at Kildare in the time of Giraldus Cam- 
brensis, who speaks of it as being then a very ancient monument. 
The round tower still standing there is prima facie the same edifice. 
But its doorway exhibits a kind of ornamentation which, if old in the 
last quarter of the twelfth century, when Giraldus wrote, would give 
too early a date for the supposed 
commencement of that style in 
architectural decoration called 
Romanesque Dr. Petrie there- 
fore argued, as regards the Kil- 
dare tower, that either the Roma- 
nesque style had developed itself 
here earlier than archaeologists 
generally would be willing to ad- 
mit, or else that the tower itself 
should be regarded as a new struc- 
ture built since the time of Cam- 
brensis ; though this latter hypo- 
thesis rests on no authority, and 
receives no support from the 

Other investigators have got 
over the difficulties involved in 
the dilemma by suggesting that 
the doorway is an "insertion"; 
and, in evidence of that view, 
point to appearances of newer 
masonry surrotinding it, and 
spreading over a large surface 
between it and the ground. 

I am unable to concur in this 
theory ; and, as the reasons on 
both sides appear to rest on no- 
thing definite, I have asked leave 
to place before the Academy the 

particular grounds on which, as it seems to me, this doorway should 
be regarded as part of the original structure. 

It stands at a height of about fifteen feet from the ground, and is 
now accessible by a stair-ladder with a handrail leading to an external 
landing or balcony from which every part of the work can be satisfac- 
torily examined. 

92 Proceedings of the Royal Irhh Academy. 

It is what is called a " recessed" doorway of three orders or grada- 
tions of members, of which the two internal orders are perfect, and 
exhibit the ornamental work in question. The first or external order 
has disappeared, its place having been supplied by the same rough 
rubble masonry which shows over the rest of the newer surface. As 
far as concerns the doorway, it is obvious that this new masonry goes 
no deeper than the thickness of the first order ; for it abuts against the 
dressed red sandstone jambs and arch of the second order which pro- 
ject behind it. Plainly enough there has, to that extent, been a repair- 
ing of dilapidation both of the surface of the tower and of the outer 
order of the doorway. But this new work exhibits no appearance 
of having been executed at different times, and the internal orders 
exhibit no appearance of ever having undergone the least disturbance, 
though, of course, it might be said that, consistently with present ap- 
pearances, there may have been an original insertion, the external 
members of which may have subsequently mouldered away, and that 
the primary new work due to the insertion may have been overlayed 
and hidden from observation by the secondary work due to the repair- 
ing of that dilapidation ; and, but for the further fact about to be 
adduced, it might be difficult to give these hypotheses, gratuitous and 
fanciful as they are, any other answer than that, in the absence of 
evidence to the contrary, the presumption is that things remain in 
statu quo ante. 

The theory of an insertion of one opening in lieu of another 
implies, however, a process of underpinning to sustain the weight of 
the wall after the withdrawal of the support given by the first doorway, 
and a further process of removal of the incumbent masonry to a suf- 
ficient height to give head-room to the workmen employed in putting 
in the new arch. It has been mentioned that the new work sur- 
rounds the doorway and spreads thence downward to near the ground. 
But above, where the new wo;tk ought to appear, if any such opera- 
tion as is suggested had ever taken place, not only is there no trace of 
new work beyond the few inches necessary for making up the outer 
rim of the first recess, but this part of the surface of the tower still 
carries on its face, altogether undisturbed and obviously in its original 
state, the old drip-stone or hood moulding for preserving the work 
below from the weather. It is of the gabled form, such as is used for 
the protection of other doorway-opes in other Irish ecclesiastical 
remains — Killeshin, Freshford, Clonfert, Eoscrea — and is nowhere, 
so far as I know, employed save in connexion with arched and deco- 
rated work in the same style with the ornamentation here. Nothing 
can be more distinct than the evidence afi^orded by this member and 
by the surface it projects from, that the original masonry of the tower 
has never been disturbed over the crown of the present doorway arch 
beyond the shallow rim of external rubble-work above described. 

Dr. Petrie has not gone into this question of ■' insertion " farther 
than by noticing the suggestion as gratuitous, and appealing to the 
evidence of the monument itself. He has, however, carefully shown 

FERGrsoN — On the Doorway of the Round Toicer, Kildare. 93 

the new work over the external jambs and over the head of the outer 
artih in his drawing of the doorway, reproduced from the Academy's 
Transactions (vol. xx., p. 208) above. 

I am able in one detail to make a slight correction in Petrie's 
enlarged drawing of one of the details. He has shown the capitals of 
the inner pilasters as consisting of a double arcade with contained 
stems and foliage. He may easily be excused for failing to make out 
the lines of a surface so abraded, and in a position so difficult for obser- 
vation. I present a cast, from which it will be seen that the design 
is somewhat different. The forms which he regarded as semicircular 

Jb'ig. -2. 

appear here as of Gothic design ; but they seem to be parts of a floral 
rather than an architectural composition. A flower on a stem rises 
between the arcades, giving something of the effect of the honeysuckle 
ornament. I also present another cast, showing the entire accuracy 
of his drawing as regards the decoration of the soffete. 

On the resulting question, whether the whole tower be not of a 
date posterior to the time of Cambrensis, I content myself with ob- 
serving, that of the other works with which its gabled canopy con- 
nects it, some are known to be older, and none to be later, than that 

y4 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 



By W. Teazer, F.R.C.S.I., M.R.I.A. 

[Eead, May 23, 1881.] 

About a year since a small collection of early engraved seals chanced 
to come into my possession, amongst wMcli those that possessed the 
chief interest were seven inscribed seal cylinders of Babylonian type ; 
and a Himyaritic seal, with an inscription engraved upon sard ; I also 
obtained a Phcenicio-Assyrian seal made of ivory, and several others 
engraved on different kinds of gems, referable to various periods of 
early classical history, and aifording examples of Sassanian, Greek, 
Roman, and Phoenician "workmanship ; but all of less importance than 
those I desire to place on record in this communication. 

It was impossible to obtain, any reliable information regarding the 
places where these seals were procured, or the circumstances under 
which the collection was formed ; but from the character of the 
objects themselves, and from a collection of gold and silver coins that 
were associated with them, I should conjecture that they were 
obtained during an extensive tour in the East, extending through 
Asia Alinor, Persia, and probably along the Euphrates, for I got 
concave aurei of the Later Roman Empii'e, struck by Alexius I. and 
Johannes II., of the Comneni family ; five tetradrachms of the 
Seleucidae ; several Parthian coins ; a large silver medallion, or coin, 
of Sultan Hussin Ben Soleiman, of Persia ; and especially two very 
rare silver coins of Timur the Tartar, not contained in our great 
public collection, and probably undescribed. 

The Babylonian seal cylinders were, as I have stated, seven in 
number, and six of these were carved from massive iron peroxide, or 
native htematite. They all presented incised sunken figures of deities, 
with various symbolic objects, and priests, or religious worshippers, 
probably some representing the former owners of the seals, and all 
without accompanying inscriptions. The seventh of the seal cylinders 
I was specially interested about, for it contained four lines of inscrip- 
tion in the well-known Babylonian characters, and with them the 
figure of a deity and of his attendant worshipper, all well preserved, 
being cut upon a piece of almost translucent pale gray agate. I was 
anxious to ascertain what this inscription was intended to record, and 
availed myself of the kindness of Rev. A. H. Sayce, of Queen's 
College, Oxford, to decipher its meaning. He took the trouble 
of examining all the seals for me, and of writing a full and clear 
account of the different objects they represent, and to the communica- 
tions he sent me we are indebted for all the information which this 
Paper may contain. I need not say how deeply I feel obliged to him 
for his kindness in this matter. 

'So. 1. — A haematite cylinder, measuring 16 millimetres in length. 
It represents a priest, with an altar behind, and a deity (apparently 

Frazer — On a Descnjition of a Himyaritic Seal, ^c. 95 

Rimmon, or the Air God) in front, with a winged dragon by way of 

No. 2. — Also composed of haematite, measuring 16 millimetres in 
length. A rude-cut seal, resembling those which are obtained from 
Cyprus, from which island Rev. Mr. Sayce considers it possibly came. 
Owing to its rude cutting, and its being much worn, it is difficult to 
recognize what subjects it was intended to represent. 

No. 3. — An archaic haematite seal of large size, which measures 
26 millimetres in length. It represents several composite monsters, 
amongst them Hea-bani, the satyr (with human head and bull's legs), 
who holds the hands of the hero Isdhubar. Isdhubar is struggling 
with a monster, behind whom a horse (?) stands. There is next a 
group of two monsters, which Mr. Sayce does not explain. The 
figures on this seal are well cut, and it affords a good example of the 
advanced state of art in the country and at the period it was made. 

Fig. 1. 

No. 4. — Another brown haematite cylinder of archaic type. It is 
the smallest-sized cylinder in the collection, and measures only 15 milli- 
metres in length. The image of the first owner of the seal is on the 
left, and a priest on the right of the ornaments, composed of a star 
and fiower, of the Goddess Istar (Astarte). An image of the goddess 
herself is noticed in the middle. Under the form of the image here 
represented Istar was called Hana in Babylon, and is identified by 
the Greeks with their deity Artemis. 

No. 5. — Likewise composed of brown haematite. This cylinder 
measures 22 millimetres in length. It represents the image of the 
goddess Istar, accompanied by two attendant priests, and also a repre- 
sentation of the owner of the seal. 

No. 6. — This cylinder has undergone little wear or rubbing, and 
is still in an unusually well-preserved condition. It is likewise made 
from brown haematite, and measures 29 millimetres in length. It 
represents a deity, probably Merodach, with his symbol, a human 
head, below. The owner of the seal is paying due worship in front. 
Behind is a lizard, the object of which Mr, Sayce says he does not 
know. Behind him again is a twin deity on a pedestal, and Mr. Sayce 
states he is not aware whom this figure is intended for. 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

No. 7. — Is the cylinder engraved on gray agate, already mentioned 
as having four lines of Babylonian inscription. It measures 29 milli- 
metres in length, and is in good preservation, as might be expected 
from the hardness of the stone it is composed of. The engraving on 

Fis. 2. 

it shows the high state of art at the time it was made. Mr. Sayce 
refers this seal probably to the time of I^ebuchadnezzar. It repre- 
sents the goddess Ishtar, with a worshipper standing in front, and the 
inscription reads as follows : — 

1. GU A!N" Canu-Khi, probably to be read Panu-Canu Khi. 

2. The son of Akhi-Dur-Kibbar. 

3. The image of the god of the planet Jupiter (Merodach), Lite- 

rally " The BuU of the Sun." 

4. And the god Sakni. 

Mr. Sayce kindly examined for me the other seals in this collec- 
tion, and I would select from them, as deserving of 
special observation, the Himyaritic seal, engi'aved 
on sard, of which I have already made mention. 

The inscription of this seal has been deciphered 
as follows : — L'"A"DII"B-]!^, — the translation being 
"belonging to Adliban," that is, "to the wise 
man." It is a matter of interest to find, after so 
many centuries and changes, social and political, 
the name of this philosopher preserved on his 
signet ring, as fresh almost as when he wore it and used it in his 
daily occupations. 

Fig. 3. 

DoHERTY — On the Abbey of Fahan, 97 

XXII. — The Abbey of Fahan. By "William: J. Doheett, C.E., 


[Read, February 28, 1881.] 

The site of the ancient abbey founded by Saint Mura in the sixth 
century, and known in the Irish annals by the names of Fathen- 
Mura, Othain-Mura, Fathen-Mura-Othna, &c., is to be seen about 
eight miles north of the city of Deny, in the parish of Upper 
Fathan, in the barony of Inis-owen, Co. Donegal. 

Adjoining, to the east, the main road leading from Derry to 
Buncrana, the abbey nestles in the "Bosom of Fahan," ^ one of 
Ireland's most charming vales. IN^orth, west, and east, are seen the 
lofty peaks of the Donegal mountains; beneath, the blue-tinted 
waters of Lough S willy' receive the shadows of the surrounding 
hills, and glint and gleam in the sunlight ; while to the south rises 
in solemn grandeur the most storied hill of Ulster — the Grianan of 
Aileach. To become conversant with the facts associated with this 
name, it will be necessary to travel back into the records of our 
earliest Christian history. 

The results of the personal researches of the late John O'Donovan, 
LL.D., into the history and antiquities of the Co. Donegal, made 
during a visit in the autumn of 1835, are embodied in a series of 
antiquarian letters, the series of which form one of the treasures of 
the Library of the Royal Irish Academy. In one of these letters, Dr. 
O'Donovan gives many particulars relating to St. Mura, principally 
collated from the " Acta Sanctorum," the celebrated work of John 
Colgan, a native of Irds-owen. Colgan was a Franciscan friar, 
attached to the Irish convent of St. Antony of Padua, in Louvain, 
where his book was published in 1645. He was a "Professor of 
Divinity, an Irish Scholar, antiquarian and Church Historian." 

O'Donovan, writing from Buncrana on August 25th, 1835, says — 
" Yesterday we travelled through the parish of Upper Fahan, to get 
the Irish pronunciation of the names of the townlands, hamlets, &c., 
and saw the site of the old church of Fathain-Mura. It being a 
fertile district, the Albany have as usual settled in it, to the total 
exclusion of ancient traditions, and to the extinction of the fame of 
St. Mura. I could see nothing in the churchyard that belonged to the 

1 Fathen, or Fahan, in the Irish language literally means a green spot, or 
bosom, and is locally known as The Bosom to the present day, being almost 
surrounded by a circle of hills. 

' Lough Swilly, the Lake of Shadows, from the hiUs around appearing lo 
clearly reflected in the waters of the lough. 


98 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

tiyne of ITura but two old stones, exhibiting rude ornaments and repre- 
sentations of the crucifixion. We learn from Colgan that this "was a 
place of much celebrity in former ages, and that some famous reliques 
belonging to it were preserved in his own time.^ 

O'Donovan adds: "The natives know nothing about St. Mura now, 
except that he first commenced to build his church on the summit of 
a hill at a short distance from the old graveyard of Fab an, and that 
some blessed birds made signs unto him to erect it in the hollow 

The only confirmation now forthcoming of the fact that there had 
been an attempt to erect a church on the top of the adjoining hill is 
the existence on the summit of the Golan Hill, at an elevation of 
about 800 feet above the sea level, a cairn of stones, that evidently 
had been placed there at some very remote period, inasmuch as they 
are all " as grey as a ghost," and are now heaped together in conical 
form, having been collected by the officers of the Ordnance Survey as 
a distinguishing point for the purpose of their triangulation survey of 

Comparing the relative distances of the site of Aileach or Tura 
and Mount Crotnla, in Inis-owen, as marked on Beaufort's map of 
Ireland, the distance would accord with the cairn of the Golan of 

O'Donovan further says : — " I can get no account of Bachull 
Mura ; it is probable that it was destroyed during the disturbances of 
1688, or carried to the Continent. What does Dr. Petrie the great 
carrier off of Bachulls think ? " 

The Bachull Mura or Cronier of St. Mura. 

The crozier of St. Mura found its way into the hands of Dr. 
Petrie, as suggested might have been the case by O'Donovan, but a 
portion of the crozier, comprising the head or crook, and about 
18 inches in length of the stafit, it seems was preserved in the 
vicinity of Sligo, whither in all likelihood it was carried about the 
time of the flight of the Earls in 1607. Dr. Petrie, the great collector of 
croziers, discovered it, and fortunately presented it (with many others) 
to the Royal Irish Academy, where it now remains : all its gems and 
adornments are gone, but what remains of the workmanship reveals 
the fashion and style of art of an early age. The late Henry O'Neill, 
in describing some drawings of the Bachull Mura, executed by him for 
the author of this Paper, says: — "The one which represents the shrine 
is the same size as the original ; the other is double the size (lineal) of 
the ornamentation on the upper boss, this being well decorated. As 

' See Colgan's Acta Sanctorum Eibernia, p. 587. 

* The " Golan Hill," the hiU immediately adjoining the site of the abbey. 

DoHERTY — On the Abbey of Fahan. 99 

the whole stafE is much corroded, it was necessary, in order to give a 
just idea of the artistic character of the decorations on this boss, 
to represent all its ornamentation, and that my drawing should illus- 
trate it, not in its corroded state, but as it was originally." He con- 
sidered that it was ornamented with amber, such ornature existing on 
some brooches in the Academy's collection, or that it might have been 
ornamented with painted china, two specimens of which survive on 
the celebrated cross of Cong. The latter supposition is strengthened 
by the fact that such decorations are numerous on the ancient and 
beautiful crozier belonging to the Duke of Devonshire, a relic which 
has been illustrated in O'^^eill's work on the " Tine Arts and Civiliza- 
tion of Ancient Ireland." 

The Chain of St. Mura. 

The chain of St. Mura has been preserved ; it is now in the 
Academy, having formed part of Dr. Petrie's collection. It is of 
bronze, and may have been attached to the cloak or outer garment, as 
a badge of office in the manner of mayoralty chains. The author is 
indebted for the particulars relating to the crozier and chain to Mr. 
Wakeman, the author of the Handhooh of Irish Antiquities. 

The Belief St. Mura.' 

Another object of antiquarian interest, supposed to belong to the 
time of the seventh century, formerly held in great veneration, and con- 
nected with this abbey, is the Bell of St. Mura, the preservation of 
which to the present time is in itself sufficient to show the esteem 
and veneration in which it was held by its possessors. It was pur- 
chased about the year 1850 from a resident in the townland of 
Ludden, near Fahan, by Mr. John M'Clelland of Dungannon, who 
has given a graphic description of the Bell and its workmanship, in a 
Paper published in the Ulster Journal of Archceology, with illustra- 
tions.® The present locale of the Bell is doubtful ; some antiquarians 
assign it to the British Museum, but the author's recent inquiry on 
the point was answered in the negative by the Curator of that Insti- 
tution. Further inquiries to endeavour to establish its locale have as 
yet been attended with no satisfactory result. Unfortunately the famine 
years compelled the humble possessors of the Bell, then residing at 
Lisfannon near Fahan, to dispose of this precious and venerable sou- 
venir of bygone art, which it is hoped may, through the medium of 
this notice, soon find its way to the Museum of the Academy. 

*A drawing intlie Ulster Journal of Arclimology, vol. i. Since reading this Paper 
the author received a letter from His Grace the Duke of Leinster, saying that the 
Bell of St. Mura is at present in the museum of his sister-in-law, Lady Otho 

'' Lov, <-if., vol. i. p. ■27-1. 

100 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

The Soly Water or Baptismal Font. 

Almost simultaneously with the transference from Fahan of the 
Bell of St. Mura, the Holy Water or Baptismal Font belonging to the 
abbey, which had been held carefully as an heirloom, and preserved 
by a neighbouring family, was entrusted to the care of the late Father 
Porter, P.P. of Malin in Inis-owen, and was by him placed in the 
Catholic church of Lag, near Malin, where it is still preserved. The 
Font is 20 inches in diameter, 15 inches deep, and cut hexagonally. 
The " Stoup" is 12 inches in diameter and 6 inches deep, and has a 
hole 1 inch in diameter in the bottom of the bowl ; the stone is of 
native granite.'' 

The Ancient Table Cross? 

The only other visible " relique " which the fury of the times has 
suffered to remain near the precincts of this venerable site is a very 
fine specimen of the Ancient Table Cross of Ireland ; it stands to the 
right of the ruins in the graveyard, and adjoins the site of the abbey. 
The interlacing of the ribbon tracery serves to delineate the outlines 
of the cross, in addition to the slight projecting arms on both sides of 
the stone (a photograph of which the writer has recently presented to 
the Academy) ; the pattern of the tracery is easily discernible, not- 
withstanding centuries of exposure to the rude blasts of a northern 
clime, and the author is confident that an examination of its details 
will evoke the admiration of every lover of Irish art.^ A very chaste 
facsimile of this cross has been lately executed by Mr. "Walter Doolin 
of Westland-row, Dublin, under the direction of the author, for the 
purpose of being placed by his relatives at Letterkenny, over the 
remains of the late Bishop of Raphoe, the Most Rev, James 

A very fine Greek cross 16 inches by 14 inches, and raised 
within a mariginal border, is preserved and built into the boun- 
dary wall facing the public road on the Derry side of the gate- 
way. This cross may have been taken from the walls of the abbey 
itself, where it might have formed part of a mural tablet, which had 
been erected to the memory of some person of distinction. Local 
tradition says that this Table Cross formed the headstone of the 
graves of several Catholic Bishops, and that it marks the site of the 
grave of St. Mura, the founder of the abbey. Be that as it may, 

' The author is indebted for the measurements and description of the " Font" 
to Mr. P. M'Laughlin of Glack-na-brad, near Malin. 

^ See Photographs in the Academy's Museum. 

^ An inscription in Irish characters was in former ages cut on the sides or edges 
of the cross, but time has almost entirely obliterated it; a rubbing of what remains 
has been obtained and submitted to Professor O'Looney, Catholic University, who 
was unable from its indistinctness to deduce therefrom a definite reading. 

DoHERTY — On the Ahhey of Fahan. 101 

many eminent ecclesiastics have been buried in this graveyard, one 
of the latest having been the Rev. James Hegarty, Doctor of Divinity 
of Eaphoe, who "was interred under the shadow of this cross, in the 
year 1715.'° The stone overlying his remains is of white Italian 
marble, but sadly discoloured, from its low position and by age ; at 
its western end, or top end of the slab, is a space two feet square, 
which has been carefully carved over with what appears to have 
been a combined ecclesiastical and family escutcheon inside a graven 
shield. The ecclesiastical portion bears an angel with expanded 

wings: at the top are the words, partly obliterated, In-Occ Columha, 

together with an open scroll on one side, and the outlines of a church 
or castle on the opposite side. Below is what seems to be the typical 
seven-branch candlestick, supported by two doves, with this epitaph : — 
"Under this stone doth James Hegarty lye, Priest, and Doctor of Divi- 
nity; sometime Rector of the Roman Ck-rgy of Raphoe; An ornament 
and zealous teacher of his Church and lover of his country ; who 
changed this life in hope [of a] glorious resurrection, and .... in the 
mercy of his God, the 30th day of June, 1715, in the 65th year of his 
age." On another slab alongside the above, but of coarser material 
and ruder workmanship, and evidently of an earlier date, the same 
clerical and secular arms are graven. This second stone has a plain 
Roman cross at its top, rising out of the well-known symbolical 
letters I.H.S., on it is the angel with wings outspread, also a bell, 
book, and candlestick, and underneath the castle and open scroll the 
seven-branch candlestick and two doves, and the following inscrip- 
tion — 


together with about a dozen other letters entirely undecipherable. 
The inscription bears no date. Prior to 1833 this ground formed 
the general cemetery for all denominations of the district. On re- 
opening a grave a few years since, a stone coifin was discovered 
therein. Another curious stone is to be seen built into the wall 
fronting the roadway to the left of the gate; in its centre is a circular 
hole, about the size of a closed hand. Many conjectures have arisen 
in the locality as to the former use and purpose of this stone. Some 
of the peasantry believe that it had been placed outside the abbey as 
a stoup for holy water. These, as O'Donovan states, are all the 
remains in the churchyard " that belonged to the time of Mura."" 

'" I learn from Dr. Logue, Bishop of Eaphoe, that a Dr. Hegarty of ahout this 
date has heen traditionally spoken of in his native parish, near the Mulroy, under 
the title of the " Soggarth-Mor." 

1' The Very Rev. Dr. Reeves has contrihuted an exhaustive article on "St. Mura" 
to the UUttr Journal of Arehaology, vol. i., in which he refeii to the two old tton* 

102 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

The Soly Well and Station of St. Mura. 

A singular instance of the simple faith of the Irish peasantry- 
should be here recorded. The native Irish of the most Celtic parts of 
Inis-owen were ignorant of the very name of St. Mura; yet a tradi- 
tional halo of sanctity surrounds his former dwelling-place, indicating 
that in times of old the place was a seat of holiness and scholarship. 
Hence pilgrimages to the Holy "Well are common : around the "station" 
the pilgrims have for centuries made their "turas," they "tell" their 
beads, and fulfil such acts of prayer and penance as are usually paid 
by pilgrims at the shrines of the saints of their veneration. Many a 
pilgrim from Clonmany and Malin, foot-weary and travel-stained, has 
the writer seen sanctify this retreat with a devotion known only to 
the simple in faith — exhibiting, after a lapse of twelve hundred years, 
a religious belief as unique, and a fervour of devotion as enthusiastic 
as any that centred about the spot in the beginning of the seventh 
century. The "well" and "station" are contiguous to each other; 
the former is close to the Lough Swilly railway, near St. John's, the 
residence of Mr. Olphert, D.L. ; the latter is in a field belonging to 
the same gentleman, and adjoins his garden ; both are easily dis- 
tinguished. Many miracles are spoken of traditionally as the result 
of the pilgrimages, but the recorded miracles mentioned by Colgan 
are lost. It should be mentioned that the Holy Well of Fahan owes 
its preservation, at the present day, to the large-hearted reverence of 
a native of Inis-owen for the reliques, eloquent in their very silence, 
of the ancient history of his country. The gentleman, who by the 
way, does not share the religious belief of the pilgrims who crowd the 
spot, prevailed upon the engineers of the Lough Swilly railway to 
respect the Holy Well, in fixing the curvature of the line. Conse- 
quently, to the former owner of St. John's, Major Marshall, J. P., 
aided by the active intervention of the then worthy and venerated 
parish priest of Fahan, the late Rev. Bernard M'El-Downey, we owe 
the saving of the Well from destruction. Major Marshall caused an 
ornate brick covering to be built over the Well ; but the vandalism which 
had formerly, as Colgan says, effaced the remains of antiquity from 
the place, was still sufficiently rampant to tear down even the arched 
covering, and the fallen debris remains a monument to "the rabidness 
of their fury." 

Dr. Reeves fixes the death of the founder of the abbey as having 
occurred about the year a.d. 645. The learned Colgan refers it to 
the commencement of the seventh century, on the ground that St. 
Mura wrote an account of St. Columba or Columbkill, who died a.d. 

Many of the successors of St. Mura in this monastery were persons 
of distinction who have left a name in Irish history; among them may 
be named Fothadh-na-Canoine or "the Canonist." 
\l The parish of Fahan is noteworthy as having provided many bishops, 

DoHERTY — On the Abhey of Fahan. 103 

both Catholic and Protestant, for the ancient See of Derry. A former 
bishop of that See, the Most Rev. Philip M'Devitt, who presided over 
the diocese, and who died in 1797,^^ was born under the shadow of the 
Scalp Mountain at Crislagh, within bowshot of the present Catholic 
church of Pahan. That distinguished prelate, lUshop Ed. Maginn, 
was P. P. of the united parishes of Upper and Lower Fahan before 
his elevation to the episcopal dignity. The present ruler of the 
Catholic See of Derry, the Yenerable and Most Rev. Francis Kelly, 
D.D., was P. P. of Fahan at the time he Avas called to occupy the See 
of the city of St. Columba ; and the present distinguished prelate of 
the Protestant Church, Dr. Alexander, was likewise Rector of the 
parish prior to his elevation to the see of Derry and Raphoe. 

Sometimes fact surpasses fiction in the marvellous; and it is indeed 
strange, even to romance, that the lands which had been granted to the 
founder of the Abbey of Fathan, by a king of Ireland in the begin- 
ning of the seventh century, should have remained until recently, 
throughout the vicissitudes of ages, an appanage of the church of 
Fahan. To the present day these are known as the church lands of 
Fahan, and amid all the changes of stormy and perilous times they 
appear to have escaped the general confiscation. Queen Elizabeth, by 
letters patent of the 28th of June, in the thirtieth year of her reign, 
upon the formal surrender of Sir John O'Doherty, confirmed him in 
his territory of Inis-owen, excepting the castle, lands, and tenements 
of this religious house of Fahan, then for the first time dissolved, the 
lands of which were required for the Queen's Bishop of Derry. Sub- 
sequently, however, Sir John joined in arms against her power, in 
conjunction with Hugh Earl of Tyrone ; so that it is not surprising to 
find that, on May 1st, in the thirty-seventh year of Queen Elizabeth, 
the territorj^ of Inis-owen, with the exception of three hundred acres 
around the fort of Culinore, and the lands which had previously be- 
longed to the Abbey of Fathain, became formally forfeited to the Crown. 
Sir Cahir O'Doherty, son of Sir John, was the possessor of these lands 
at the time; but, on the 16th of July, in the eighth year of James the 
First, all the lands which had formerly belonged to Sir John and Sir 
Cahir O'Doherty were made over and granted to Sir Arthur Chichester, 
Baron of Belfast, excepting, however, from the grant six quarters of 
termon land or erenach land at Fahan, together with sixty acres of land 
adjoining the aforesaid six quarters, and adjacent to the parish church 
of Fahan. The names of the six quarters were, Letir, the Sleane, and 
Mill quarter, the Castle quarter, the Magherabegs, and the quarter of 
Lisfannon. All these have passed away during this century out of the 
hands even of the Bishop of Derry ; and the remnant of the once 
broad acres attached to the Abbey of Fahan was reduced, in 1868, to 
the statutable quantity of ten acres surrounding the glebe house of 
Fahan ; whilst the balance of the sixty acres — set apart in James's 

" O'Donovan, in his Ordnance Memoir of Derry. 

104 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

patent to Chichester for the parish church — was purchased from the 
Church Temporalities Commissioners by the present respected Rector 
of Fahan, the Eev. John Canon King. 

Nothing now remains of tlie castle belonging to Fahan Abbey 
except the name attached to and retained by the lands. The castle 
itself, which was evidently a square keep, and which is described in 
an account of the places of strength in the O'Doherty's country, pre- 
vious to the establishment of the English colony by Dockra in Derry 
in 1601, was at that date the residence of the afterwards martyred 
Bishop of Derry, Eedmond O'Gallagher.^* It stood on a slight emi- 
nence adjacent to the eighth mile-post on the Lough Swilly railway. 
The site has long since been devoted to agricultural purposes, and the 
stones used up in the erection of the adjoining house buildings and 
farm works ; the foundation lines, however, are still to be seen during 
the low growth of a pasture or grain crop, and are clearly traceable by 
the extra greenness of the crop over the site. 

» " Lough Foyle in 1601," MS. tract in State Paper Office. 

Knowles — On Pre-historle Iiiipkments, ^c. 105 

XXIII. — Phe-histokic Ihplemexts fouxd in the Sandhills of 
DuNDRrM:, County Down, By "VV. J. Knowles. 

[Read, June 13, 1881.] 

The Sandhills of Dundrum are similar to those of Portstewart, Castle- 
rock, and Whitepark Bay, near Ballintoy, which I have described on 
various occasions. They all contain flint implements and other pre- 
historic remains, either lying exposed in hollows, or buried up in a 
black layer under a covering of sand which is in some places over fifty 
feet in thickness. The objects found in the hollows have also been 
buried up, but the covering has been removed by the wind. 

I believe that fully five thousand objects of human workmanship, 
such as arrow-heads, scrapers, flint knives, hammers, ornaments of 
different kinds, and pottery, have been obtained from these Sandhills 
during the past ten years, and I am of opinion that large quantities 
are still contained in the black layers where the covering of sand has 
not been removed. 

Dundrum, which is within easy reach by rail of Belfast, has been 
visited on one or two occasions by the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club. 
In their reports the finding of flint flakes is recorded. Knowing this, 
and also that the flint-bearing rocks are twenty-five or thirty miles 
distant, I scarcely expected to find flint implements when I visited the 
place for the first time in July, 1879, and therefore went chiefly to ex- 
amine if black layers were to be found similar to those which I had ob- 
served at Portstewart and Ballintoy. My astonishment may therefore be 
imagined when, in addition to the black layers which I was in search 
of, I found the ground in places literally covered with flint flakes and 
scrapers. My time was limited, and I could scarcely spare a full day 
among the hills on any occasion ; yet, notwithstanding this, and that 
it was an unknown place to me, where I had to walk backwards and 
forwards so as to take a proper survey, and miss nothing, I brought 
away in three short visits upwards of one thousand scrapers, forty-one 
arrow-heads, forty-six scrapers with concave scraping edge, besides 
hammer stones, dressed flakes, and several other articles of flint more 
or less dressed. The Rev. Canon Grainger, M.R.I.A., accompanied 
me on the third occasion, and also obtained a very nice series of ob- 
jects, among which there was a small stone bead, similar to others 
found by me at Portstewart ; and also a quartzite pebble with a linear 
groove on each side, and of the kind described as sling-stones in the 
Catalogue of the Royal Irish Academy. 

The Sandhills are a series of irregular ridges and mounds of sand, 
heaped up by the wind, with deep pits between. The elevated parts 
have a covering of grass, in some places only of bent grass, but in others 
of different grasses mixed with moss, wild strawberry, bramble, and 
bracken, but the hollows are, as a rule, bare. The sand on the bare 

K.I. A. rilOC, SEK. II., VOL. II. — POL. LIT. AMD ANTIQ. ji[ 

106 Proceedings of the Roijal Ii-hh Academy. 

parts is coustantly blown about by the wind ; but when it falls on 
places having a grassy covering, some of it remains and is not blown 
off again, owing to the shelter afforded to it by the blades of grass. 
As the grass grows longer, so as to be able to afford more protection, 
more sand will be retained, and therefore the protected parts become 
gradually higher, while the hollows, which are unprotected, tend to 
become lower. In this way the black layer, which is the old surface 
on which the ancient inhabitants lived, became slowly and gradually 
covered over with a great thickness of sand ; but in many places the 
protecting sward has got broken, and the wind speedily cai'ried away 
the sand, forming large hollows. There are various ways by which 
the protection of grass may be broken through, such as the burrowing 
of rabbits, but the practice of drawing sand for agricultural purposes, 
which has lately come much into iise, has been a certain cause of 
openings on which the wind could act. Part of the Sandhills near 
Ballintoy, where I obtained many flint implements, was, within the 
memory of an old inhabitant of the district, covered with a thick sward 
of grass, but when an opening Avas made, the wind soon carried off a 
great thickness of sand, laying bare the old surface with all its trea- 
sure of wrought flints and accompanying remains. This old surface 
layer, in all the places I have found it to exist, withstands the 
denuding action of the wind for a long time, and the objects it con- 
tains are only gradually uncovered ; but at Dundrum, as in other 
places, it has been cut through in many parts. In such cases the 
lighter material has all been carried away by the wind, and the various 
dressed flints and flakes which it contained are left exposed on the 
sand. Frequently, when we mount a hill, we will see lying in the 
hollow below or on the slope of an opposite hill innumerable white 
objects shining in the sun. These are the flints and bones which have 
dropped out of the layer, and it produces a most agreeable sensation 
when one comes on such a place for the first time and sees all the lost 
objects which the old surface layer contained spread out before him. 
"Where the flints have been left bare, by the dark layer being carried 
away, I have observed that they are not strewn continuously over the 
surface, but are rather confined to certain spots. You may meet with 
a considerable number, all collected within the radius of a few yards, 
thicker towards the centre and gradually thinning as you approach the 
circumference, till at last none at all are to be found. Then, at a 
short distance, we may find another spot where they will be met with 
in abundance as before. "VVe sometimes find a few boulders in the 
centre of these spots, which I believe have been used as hearth-stones, 
and therefore I conclude that those places where Ave find the accumu- 
lation of flints are sites of dwelling-places, and that the manufacture 
of flint implements was carried on in and around them. At Ballintoy, 
foundations in stonework of such dwelling-places are visible, and the 
outline is in some cases still perfect. 

I have frequently called the black layer the implement-bearing 
layer, because it is only in it wc find implements of flint, except in 

Knowles — Oil Ffo-lihioric Implem^nf-<i, S^^c. 107 

such cases where the layer has been removed by denudation.' It is 
generally from three or four to about twelve inches in thickness, and 
I have obtained from it a great quantity of objects precisely similar to 
those which I found exposed in the hollows. In excavating, however, 
unless one happens on the site of a dwelling-place, the worlc may be 
unprofitable and disheartening. The weight of sand above, which 
falls down in large quantities when only slightly undermined, makes 
excavating difficult, and without the greatest care a small object like 
an arrow-head, or small beads such as I have found at Portstewart, 
would escape notice. Where I have found the layer laid bare, I 
generally dug it over myself, using the greatest possible care, and 
allowing nothing to pass without minute examination. At Dundrum, 
owing to the large surface — several miles in extent — which required 
to be examined, I confined my attention at first to the objects exposed 
on the sand, merely satisfying myself as to the nature of the layer as 
I went along ; but in August of last year I was fortunate enough in 
finding the site of one of those ancient dwelling-places, which I exca- 
vated. I found it to contain three finely-dressed scrapers, of a larger 
size than usual ; a fine flat flake dressed over the back and partly on 
the flat side ; a specimen of a similar kind, which had been in the fire ; 
another long, thin, and knife-like flake ; besides other flakes, cores, 
hammer stones, broken pottery, and bones. There was also a fine 
stone hatchet, 7i inches long, made of handsome, hard, greenish stone, 
and finely polished, which appeared never to have been used, and 
looked just as if fresh from the maker's hands. There was, besides, a 
stone somewhat circular in shape, and about three inches in diameter, 
with a pit or hoUow on one side, like those pits which we find on oval 
tool-stones. I had previously found stones more or less pitted, in 
different parts of the hills, as well as at Portstewart and Ballintoy, 
associated with flakes, cores, and hammer stones, but was only able to 
guess at the object of them. I was inclined to look on them as oval 
tool-stones in an early stage of manufacture, and I think I can show 
that I was correct enough in that view ; but it now occurred to me, 
from finding hammer stones, cores, and flakes so closely associated with 
this pitted stone, that it had been used as a rest or anvil on which to 
lay the core when chipping off the flakes. 

After the account of my find of flint implements appeared in the 
local papers, I learned that the Marchioness of Downshire was taking 
a good deal of interest in the subject, and was forming a collection of 
the flint objects found among the Dundrum Sandhills. Being anxious 
not to be regarded as a trespasser, and wishing to explain my reasons 

^ Mr. William Gray, of Belfast, ia a Paper contributed to the Royal Historical 
and Archaeological Association, in July, 1879, and appearing in Xo. 39 of their 
Journal, says that the objects are found on the black layers, because being tougher 
than the sand above and below, they stand out as ledges and arrest the descent 
of the flints, &c., which are constantly slipping down from the top. I have no 
doubt that a little nttpntivp study on tho s]iot will convince Mr. Gray thnt this is 
not the case. 

108 Proccedwgs of the Royal IrisJt Academy. 

for going there at the first, I now Tn-ote to the Marchioness of Do^vn- 
shire on the subject, and had the honour of an invitation to he present 
at excavations which were about to be made. The object of these ex- 
cavations was the examination of the black layer, and the result was 
fairly satisfactory. "SVe dug up several cores, flakes, and fragments of 
pottery out of the black layer at the place where I had obtained the 
dressed flakes and flne stone hatchet ; but, though there was abundant 
evidence of human workmanship in all that was turned out, no object 
of much interest was obtained, except one beautiful arrow-head, which 
was found by Lady Arthur Hill, a short distance from where we were 
digging. Ve tried other places, and obtained several objects worthy 
of notice, among which was an excellent hammer stone with abraided 
ends, showing much use in hammering, and having a circular pit on 
one side. At last we were fortunate enough to find a place which 
must have been the site of an ancient dwelling-place. On foUowing 
the layer we saw it become thicker and darker in colour, and pieces of 
pottery, fragments of bone, hammer stones, cores, and flakes were at 
the same time being turned out. The work was now closely watched 
by Lord Arthur Hill and myself, and everything that came out was 
carefully examined. At last, when we had reached the thickest and 
darkest part of the layer, we found an anvil stone, weighing several 
pounds, and pitted in two or three places, and a hammer stone with 
abraided ends lying beside it. In close association with these were 
also cores and flakes. The falls of sand obliged us to give over, but 
we considered that the result of our digging was most satisfactory. 
The objects were not in themselves very valuable, but they were highly 
instructive. They were evidently the humble stock-in-trade of an 
ancient flint implement maker. 

Of the various implements, scrapers are by far the most abundant. 
If used for scraping skins for clothing and taking food from bones, we 
can easily conceive that they would be numerous. Each person would 
be constantly requiring one ; and if we only count the number of 
scrapers already found, which must be from fifteen hundred to two 
thousand, it would show a considerable population for the district 
around Dundrum. But it is probable that, besides being in daily use, 
they would be manufactured for the purpose of barter. They vary 
greatly in size, none of them being very large like some of those found 
at Ballintoy. A few are of medium size, or about one and a-half to 
two inches long, but the majority are much smaller, and some are not 
longer than the nail of the little finger. Figs. 1, 2, 4, and 6 show 
some of these full size. A great number appear to have been hastily 
made, and show portions of the outside crust of the flint-pebble from 
which they were struck off, but there are still quite a large number 
which show as neat and careful workmanship as any arrow-head. 
The poorest, however, generally show that careful di'essing of the 
edge into a circular form so peculiar to scrapers. As regards size 
the contrast between Ballintoy and Dundrum is very marked. In 
the one place the flint is at hand, the implements are all large, and 

KxowLEs —On Pre-hisioric I)nphnnenfs, S^'c. 


there is a great deal of material, one would say, wasted. In the 
other, the material is scarce, closely wrought up, and the manu- 
factured objects are small. The scrapers have different forms, some 
of them being broad at the scraping edge, some more or less pointed, 
while others are dressed to scrape in two directions, but the majority 
have a neatly-dressed circular edge. 

Of scrapers with concave scraping edge I obtained about fifty. 
These are generally made of large and good flakes. The majority have 
only one scraping edge, but a few have two or three dressed edges, of 
circular form, and occasionally we find the two kinds — that is, the con- 
vex and concave edge combined in one tool. Some of them are neatly 
serrated, and the hollowed scraping edge varies greatly in size. 
The diameter of the circle might be stated to vary from H inches 
to -i- inch. One is shown full size in Fig. 5. I got all those 

which I found at Dundrum in three or four spots, about a dozen 
in each place. They would be found lying about within a few 
yards of each other. I imagined either that the tradesmen who 
wrought with these tools sat and worked in groups, or that the manu- 
facturers of them had made a lot while sitting in the same spot. It 
is imagined by some persons that these objects were used as saws, and 
they have obtained that name among collectors in Co. Antrim, but 
while some may have been used in that way, there are others totally 
unfitted for such a purpose. I am therefore inclined to believe that 
the chief use for which they were employed was the scraping of cylin- 
drical objects. I found three scrapers of this kind at Portstewart, but 
I never got one at Ballintoy. I also found two flat-edged scrapers. 
They differ in type from the ordinary flat-edged side scrapers, as the 
dressing is not carried out to the edge of the flake, but, like the hol- 
low scraper, the dressed part occupies a space in the centre. As these 

110 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

are serrated, probably tliey may have been used as saws. Fig. 3 re- 
presents one of these objects, but the woodcut scarcely does justice to 
its neatly serrated edge. 

Of arrow-heads I have about twenty that are perfect, and about 
the same number of broken specimens. The Marchioness of Down- 
shire has fully as many, I should say, very beautiful and perfect. 
They show very fine and skilful workmanship, and the porcellaneous 
glaze which has been imparted to them by exposure on the sand has 
added much to their beauty. Several types are very well represented — 
stemmed, indented, triangular, leaf-, and lozenge- shaped. One of 
those in my own series, which had been broken at the point, has had 
the broken part dressed for use as a scraper. 

There are several dressed flakes and awls. Some of the flakes are 
only dressed round the edges, but others are dressed over the back, 
showing as fine chipping as that on most arrow-heads. This kind of 
implement appears to be commonly found along with the burned bones 
in interments. Several of these are figured by Canon Greenwell in 
" British Barrows," some of them being beautifully serrated. Among 
the bones found in a burial urn which lately came into possession of 
Canon Grainger, a burned specimen of this kind was found, and in 
another urn, which was found at Cullybackey, there had been a similar 
implement, as I picked up a portion of it from among the bones, which 
were scattered, before I was able to secure them. 

Several flat and thin flakes show evidence of having been used as 
knives, though no trouble has been taken to dress them into shape. 

Cores are plentiful, but all are small, showing the outside weathered 
crust, and thus indicating the nature of the material used. I believe 
the people had been entirely dependent on such small boulders as they 
could procure from the drift and around the sea shore, and that very 
probably none of the flint had been either brought by them, or pro- 
cured by barter, from a distance. Everything shows that the flint was 
not so plentiful as they could desire, and other material was tried. I 
procured several neatly-formed flakes of quartz crystal, and a scraper 
of greenish rock, of a kind found plentifully scattered about. I ob- 
served several other flakes of various kinds of stone, which I believe 
were used as scrapers; but all stones except flint have suffered so 
much from weathering that one cannot always speak with certainty of 
the artificial character of any marks which appear on them. 

Several stone hatchets were found, but only the one Avhich I exca- 
vated, and have already described, was derived directly from the black 
layer ; but that the inhabitants manufactured hatchets I think there 
can be no doubt, as I found a stone object with two grooves into 
which the flat side of a stone hatchet would fit when being rubbed 
backwards and forwards to polish it ; and I think it is probable that 
the stone referred to could be used for no other purpose. The hatchet 
which I dug out of the layer appeared as if it had never been used ; 
and stone of a similar greenish colour to that from which it is made 
occurs amonir the hills. 

Knowles — On Pre-historie Lnplements, 8fc. Ill 

I foimd a stone with a large cup-like hollow on one side, and a 
smaller depression on the other, but the hollows are not opposite. 
The larger hollow appears to have been artificially smoothed, but the 
original crust of the stone has been removed by weathering. The two 
hollows communicate by a small obliqiie opening. The bead is of the 
5<ame type as those which I found at Portstewart, and is made, I be- 
lieve, of the same material — serpentine. The beads from Portstewart 
are very small, about the size of the smallest shirt buttons, and not 
unlike them in shape, being somewhat rounded on one side, and cup- 
shaped on the other. I have a considerable number of larger beads,. 
or amulets, of the same material, found in different parts of Co. Antrim. 
They are flat, and the edges not dressed into a circular shape, but re- 
taining any irregular outline that the stone may have had at first, 
though highly polished. They are frequently of a beautiful green 
colour, and I believe from the circumstances I have stated that the 
material must have been highly prized. I do not find that the Royal 
Irish Academy have any of these in their Collection. 

The sling-stone, as such stones are named in the Catalogue of the 
Royal Irish Academy, is a quartzite pebble, with a groove on each 
face, such as might be made by rubbing a pointed instrument back- 
wards and forwards. It was found among a heap of pebbles at a slort 
distance from a spot where scrapers had been picked up, but not just 
in association with them. Mr. Evans, in "Stone Implements and > 
Ornaments of Great Britain," supposes that such stones are whetstones, 
and states that they are not met with in England as a rule, but that 
stones of a somewhat similar kind are found in Scandinavia, of shuttle- 
like form, and having a furrow or groove round the edge. I have one 
of those shuttle-like objects, and the small groove on the face is ex- 
actly similar in character to the grooves on our Irish ''sling-stones." 
I have fifty-two of these so-called Irish sling-stones, and I observe 
that where the stone is handsome, it has been carefully dressed into 
an oval or shuttle-shaped form, and bevelled all round to a pretty thin 
edge. These Scandinavian and Irish whetstones, for such I believe 
them to be, were in my mind used for identically similar purposes ; but 
the question naturally arises, why was a groove made round the edge 
in the one case, and the edge bevelled so as to make it thin in the 
other ? !N'ow, I would suggest that this is a nice development problem. 
In these early times, when pockets and travelling-bags were not in- 
vented, the necessity for carrying objects about would be greatly felt ; 
and I think, in regard to the stones under consideration, the problem 
was solved by two separate peoples in different ways. The one made 
a groove round which a thong could be tied ; and the other bevelled 
the edge for the purpose of inserting it into a frame or binding of 
leather ; and thus in both cases the stones could easily be carried about 
by suspending them from the dress. The grooves on the different 
sides of our Irish specimens generally run in the direction of the longer 
axis of the stone, and as a rule the grooves on the opposite sides form 
a small angle with each other, though I have found them perfectly 
parallel, and also crossing at right angles. 

112 Proceedings of the Royal Irijilt Academy. 

Hammer stones of quartzite, granite, flint, and other tough, rocks 
are found in considerable abundance. The ends are always much 
abraided, and sometimes pits occur on one or both sides, showing that 
they were used as anvil stones. 

Anvil stones are also plentiful, and are made of different kinds of 
rock. The finding of such stones at Dundrum, as well as at Port- 
stewart and Ballintoy, has, I think, given a clue to the formation of 
oval tool stones. The tool stones have, in my opinion, originated from 
anvil stones, the pit ha^ing been formed by the laying of the object to 
be hammered constantly on the same spot. However flakes may have 
been struck off by other peoples, or by savages in the present day, I 
am convinced that the ancient inhabitants of Dundrum, Portstewart, 
and Ballintoy laid the core on the anvil stone, and then separated the 
flake by striking with the hammer stone. The laying of the core for 
a certain length of time on the same spot produced a depression, which 
got deeper the longer it was used. I have observed stones having 
these depressions in all stages, from the first minute punctures, with 
sharp lines running from them to the margin of the stone, showing 
how the core had jerked to the side, down to the deep and regular de- 
pression. On a recent occasion I found at Ballintoy the half of one of 
these stones, with pretty deep marks on both sides and opposite each 
other. The stone had split into two equal parts exactly through the 
centre of the hollows. The portion of a tool stone w^hich I excavated 
at Ballintoy in the summer of 1879 was also, strange to say, the half 
of a stone which had been split through the centre in the same way. 
The question now occui-red to me, "Why are they split across in this 
way ? and the answer seemed to me clear. They were anvil stones, 
and the constant hammering on the same spot split them. It occurred 
to me now to make an experiment. I took a quartzite hammer stone, 
which I had found at Ballintoy, and used it as an anvil stone, and 
taking another stone as a hammer and a piece of flint as a core, I com- 
menced hammering as if I were going to dislodge a flake. In a short 
time a pit was produced in the anvil stone, quite similar to the pits on 
the anvil stones from the Sandhills. I continued hammering, to see 
if at last the deeper hollow with regular outline, such as we see in the 
more finished tool stones, could be produced, but just when my object 
was very nearly attained, my anvil split. I can now explain a great 
deal which I previously could not understand about the large series of 
oval tool stones in my collection. I knew they could not have been 
manufactured for hammers, because some were too large to be handled, 
and others were too small to be of any use, and, besides, some were of 
stone not suitable for hammers. But where formed of quartzite or 
other tough stone, the ends are generally abraided. These had been 
made to serve the purpose of either hammer or anvil, as occasion re- 
quired. In the Christy Collection ia London there is a mass of breccia, 
made up of flakes, broken bones, etc., from one of the Eock Shelters 
in Prance, and embedded in the mass I observed a stone with a cup- 
shaped pit. It appeared to me to have all the character of the tool 
stone. If you saw a tool stone embedded side by side with it, you 

Knowles — On Pre-hisforic Implements, 8fc. 113 

■would say both were intended for tlie same purpose. N'ow, what was 
the use of that stone, and what is it doing there ? The answer is now 
plain to me. It is an anvil stone which the ancient people who lived 
in these Eock Shelters used for laying the flint cores on when they 
wanted to strike off flakes. "When I first found tool stones at Port- 
stewart and Ballintoy, I had no doubt in my mind that they were of 
the same age as the flint implements that were found with them, but 
I knew that Sir William "Wilde and Sir John Lubbock had expressed 
doubt as to whether this class of objects belonged to the Stone Age, 
and I hesitated about expressing my opinion too strongly. Mr. Evans 
reviews the question in a very fair way in " Stone Implements and 
Ornaments," but I think he speaks rather unguardedly against the 
view that they are of the Stone Age in his Presidential Address to the 
members of the Anthropological Institute, delivered on 29th January, 
1878. He states, when reviewing a Paper of mine, that if it could be 
proved that the tool stones and scrapers were contemporaneous, he 
would more readily accept the scrapers as belonging to the Age of Iron 
than the tool stones as belonging to the Age of Stone. I regret having 
to differ from one whose great experience and knowledge of the sub- 
ject so well entitles him to pronounce judgment on any point ; but if 
the theory I have stated is found correct, as I believe it will be, these 
implements, instead of belonging only to the early Iron Age, must be 
regarded as belonging peculiarly to the Stone Age, and even extending 
back to the early Stone Age. 

A variety of other objects have been found, for example — grain 
rubbers, pottery, and a portion of a jet ring or bracelet. The pottery 
was found only in fragments ; some ornamented in the usual style of 
burial urns, and other pieces which were turned out from the black 
layer had a peculiar smoothed and polished appearance on the outside. 
I believe all the fragments were pieces of domestic vessels. 

In the other Sandhills we found great quantities of teeth and 
bones, broken and split, also cut in various ways, and some of them 
manufactured into useful objects, such as pins and needles. Professor 
A. Leith Adams found that those of man, horse, ox, dog or wolf, fox, 
deer, and hog were contained among them ; but, though we find bones 
mixed up with the stone objects at Dundrum, they are not in a good 
state of preservation, and I was only able to determine with certainty 
the teeth of horse and ox. 

It would be interesting to have experiments made to test the rate 
at which sand accumulates on the top of the grass-covered hills. I 
have tried it at Portstewart ; but owing to living at a distance, and 
cattle grazing on the hills, as well as people walking at liberty over 
all parts of them in search of game, my experiments were not satis- 
factory. The best evidence I have got of their slow growth was from 
the Dowager Marchioness of Downshire, who informed me that small 
hills, covered with bent, had slowly risen up in a place where it was 
formerly bare sand, and at almost sea level, since she went first to live 
at Murlough forty years ago. 



Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XXIY. — Ox An" an-cient BPtOifZE Beacelet of Toeqite Patteen" 
OBTAINED IIS- Co. Gaxwat. By W. Feazee, r.E.C.S.I., M.R.I.A. 

[Eead, November 14, 1881.] 

The handsome little bracelet of bronze, wbicli I am enabled tbis even- 
ing to sbow to tbe Members of tbe Academy, was given to me a few 
weeks since by Richard A. Gray, Esq., County Surveyor for South 
Dublin. Our Museum has obtained from this gentleman large and 
valuable additions of numerous objects of antiquarian interest, and he 
has placed antiquarians under deep obligations for the quantities of 
such articles secured by him for our benefit when, many years ago, he 

was engaged under the Board oi Works in the excavations and deepen- 
ing of the Elvers Boyne and Shannon. I do not hesitate to say that 
only for the personal interest he took in their preservation many of 
our prized Irish antiquities would have been destroyed or thrown 
aside, and utterly lost to this Museum and to Archaeology. 

The bracelet now in my possession was originally purchased by 
Mr. Gray's father, Dr. Gray, in the Co. Gal way, several years since, 
and, similar to too many of our Irish antiquities, the history and cir- 
cumstances of its discovery are altogether unknown — probably it 
turned up in cutting a bog, or in the bed of some stream, and then 

Frazer — On an Ancient Bronze Bracelet. 115 

passed from its finder's hands into tKe possession of Dr. Gray, who 
knew its value, and preserved it. After his death it was in the pos- 
session of his son, Mr. R. A. Gray, for several years, and he gave it to 
me a few weeks since. 

This bracelet possesses peculiar interest from its shape, which is 
altogether unique. We have numerous bracelets in the Museum of 
this Academy, and many others are figured in the works of writers on 
the bronze ornaments of the Earlier Ages, but none of these corre- 
spond to the pattern of this one. It is, in a word, the perfect minia- 
ture representation of the old Celtic, or Gaulish Torque. Its ends are 
fastened together by the prolongation of one extremity into a simple 
wire, the curved termination of which clasps into a perforated aper- 
ture at the other extremity of the bracelet. 

The ring of bronze itself is decorated with a pattern at once effec- 
tive, simple, and artistic : a triple row of detached semicircular eleva- 
tions of small size run all along its back and either edge fi'om end to 
end for about five-sixths of their extent, the remaining sixth part being 
formed of the prolonged fastening wire. In the modelKng of its orna- 
mentation and its form it is, I believe, altogether unique, and it pre- 
sents us with an additional illustration of the great skill and artistic 
abiUty of the old bronze- workers of Ireland, men who developed and 
executed a class of art objects in a rude age which we to this day may 
regard with admiration and justifiable pride. 

116 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XXV. — The Atlesbuet-eoad Sepuicheal Mothsj-d. Desceiption op 
CEETAiN Human Remahsts, Aeticles oe Beonze, and othee Objects 
OBTAINED iHEEE. By W. Feazee, F.R.C.S.I., M.E.I.A. 

[Eead, February 13, 1882.] 

The excavations carried on at the great sepulchral mound in Aylesbury- 
road, Donnybrooh, where I was permitted to have exceptional oppor- 
tunities for investigating all the circumstances attending that interesting 
discovery, may now be considered as finally brought to a termination, 
for a dwelling-house of large size is erected over the greater part of 
the site of the mound itself. 

Since the period I was permitted to lay an account of my investi- 
gations of this mound before the Boyal Irish Academy {vide antea, 
p. 29), no possible opportunity was neglected of continuing and per- 
fecting my search there. But although from time to time several 
additional skulls and portions of skeletons turned up, they seldom 
were possessed of special importance, or appeared to require detailed 
description. An exception must, however, be claimed for the last 
skull which was brought to me, and which I have the privilege of 
exhibiting this evening. Together with it I purpose showing a bronze 
pin, also found about the same time, and a few other objects of anti- 
quarian interest that came into my possession as the workmen disco- 
vered them in the mass of clay and human bones where they worked. 
They are, I believe, worth placing on record to complete the history 
of the excavations. 

The discovery close to our city of a vast mound of human remains — 
I am under the limit in saying it contained the bones of upwards of 
600 or 700 human beings — was calculated to excite attention and 
give rise to various conjectures as to the origin of such a state of 
things. Tradition gave no clue to explain the occurrence of this 
mound, and our historic records, so far as they are yet known, were 
equally silent. Where the early records of Irish history are concerned, 
I believe everyone who has dispassionately searched in them must be 
convinced of their perfect truthfulness, and of the marvellous accuracy 
with which events of very early date are recorded. I have no doubt 
an account of this mound and its origin were once to be found in such 
records ; but we know that the annals of Dublin history especially 
were unfortunately destroyed long since — possibly they perished in 
the fire at St. Mary's Abbey. 

In disinterring and examining the bodies found in the mound, I 
resolved to use every possible means for arriving at a deliberate con- 
clusion, as if I were engaged in a recent medico-legal investigation, 
having had the good fortune to be permitted to study the place at my 
leisure, and, I may say, from the period of the first discovery of 
human remains there until the mound was altogether investigated to 

Fkazer — On the Ayleshury-road Sepulchral Mound. 117 

its borders. The first skeleton disinterrecl "^as that of a Danish chief- 
tain, with his iron spear and his silver- and gold-mounted iron sword — 
the last was one of the unfortunate victims of a massacre where young 
and old, the unborn child and the mother, the idiot, the lame, men and 
women and young children, indiscriminately perished. I got fi-om 
these ample evidences of brutal murders and of violent deaths, such 
as savages inflict on their victims. 

Judging from the anatomical peculiarities of the bones themselves, 
which I have fully described in my last communication, we might 
reasonably place this massacre at the date when such things are known 
to have occurred, namely, about the time of the Danish Piratical In- 
vasions, and this is corroborated by the discovery of the undoubted 
Danish weapons and of Irish bronze pins and rings, which are ref errible 
to about the same period. 

It would not be difficult, from the numerous skulls which I ob- 
tained, to give proofs more than sufficient of brutality and murderous 
violence ; yet the last skull that was disinterred will of itself give us 
striking and convincing proof of the truth of this statement. I have 
preserved this specimen in the exact condition in which it was brought 
to me after being dug up out of the ground where it lay. It still has 
the tenacious clay soil adhering to it, and keeping the broken frag- 
ments together, and filling up its cavities. We notice that it must 
have sustained a powerful blow from a club or heavy bar, striking it 
from above, and falling on the nose and upper jaw. The surface of 
the superior maxilla is crushed in, the central incisor teeth driven 
from their sockets, and with them the left lateral incisor teeth also. 
The terrible blow has in addition produced a compound fracture of the 
lower jaw, from direct violence, about an inch to the left of the sym- 
physis of the jaw-bone ; and besides this, there are two simple fi-actures 
situated one at each angle of the jaw-bone respectively : thus we have 
three distinct fractures of the lower jaw resulting fi'om this crushing 
blow. ]S"or is this the entire extent of the mischief, for the extreme 
violence used has driven the right condyle out altogether from its arti- 
culating surface with the upper jaw-bone, and produced an exaggerated 
dislocation of the jaw upon that side, the articulating head being 
forced below and behind the mastoid process. To accomplish such an 
unusual and excessive amount of displacement must have demanded a 
proportionate application of force ; but the appearances of these inju- 
ries thus inflicted are as fresh and well-marked as if they were pro- 
duced within the last few weeks, instead of bearing witness to an act 
of barbarism perpetrated perhaps one thousand years ago. 

The discovery of bronze ornaments of undoubted Irish workman- 
ship with these bones assisted greatly in determining the probable age of 
these depositions, and the few articles of iron, especially the spear, the 
arrow-heads, and the iron rings found round the arms of young persons, 
were all-important. I have much pleasure in showing a second and 
fine example of the bronze pin with ringed looped top, which turned 
up in the soil of the mound and came into my possession. The pin por- 

118 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

tion measures four inches in lengthy and bears a fine green patena, 
except in those places where it was removed by the finder, who thought 
he had obtained a golden prize. This is the second pin of similar form 
obtained from the mound ; but the first one, which is figured in my 
previous Paper, is of much smaller size, and, when found, was broken 
into pieces. 

I obtained in addition a round knob of yellow bronze, resembling 
the head of a large nail with its stud. This, it is probable, was origin- 
ally a portion of armour, possibly the decoration of a shield. There 
was also got a bronze ring for the finger, of simple form. The only 
other object which I will show is a portion of a bone comb referrible 
to a very early date. All these corroborate the view taken as to the 
probable period of the massacre ; and the paucity of such objects in 
the interments shows how thoroughly the piratic plunderers stripped 
the unfortunate people of their personal ornaments and property. 

Olden — On some Ancient Remains at Kilmaclenine. 119 

XXVI. — On some Akcient Eemains at Khmaclenine, with Illtjs- 


(With Plates YI. and YII.) 

[Eead, NoTember 30, 1881.] 

The parish of Kilmaclenine, in the county of Cork and barony of 
Orrery and Kilniore, lies about five miles north-west of Mallow. It 
is a prebend of the diocese of Cloyne, and the entire parish, which is 
very small, formed one of the estates of the See of Cloyne down to the 
middle of the seventeenth century. There are but two townlands, 
that of Kilmaclenyn, 609a. 1e. 33p., and Knockaun-a-vaddreen, 432a. 
2e. 15p., making a total of 1042a. Ok. 8p. 

When I came to reside in this neighbourhood, my attention was 
attracted by some remarkable ruins here, of which I could not find any 
history or local tradition ; but on turning over the pages of the Pipa 
Colmani I found Kilmaclenine so frequently mentioned that I was led 
to make further inquiries, which have enabled me to put together the 
following remarks. Before referring to the ancient record alluded to, 
it is desirable here to notice briefiy its nature and contents, which I 
may presume to be but little known. 

This document was known to Sir James Ware, who terms it the 
Pipa Colmani, or Pipe-roU. of St. Colman of Cloyne ; but in the middle 
of the last century, when Smith wrote his Sistory of Corh, it had 
disappeared, and was supposed to be lost. 

It turned out, however, to have been all the time in the Eegistry 
of Cloyne, where it was found some years ago, and having been placed 
in the hands of Dr. Canlfield, was published by him in 1859.^ The 
EoU is 17' 8" long by 71" broad, and is composed of ten membranes 
sewed together. It was begun in 1364 by Bishop Swaffham, and re- 
cords ' ' the findings of juries, and various acts and deeds relating to 
the temporalities of the See of Cloyne." It was continued by subse- 
quent bishops, and entries were made which relate to events during 
the time of eleven occupants of the See, from David (1228) to Adam 
Pay (1421). Intermingled with the Latin text are English and Irish 
words, spelt phonetically, and in the case of the former evidently by 
writers whose pronunciation was French. Thus, the hill is "le hylle " ; 
ahorse, " a bores," &c. The Prench definite article, as well as the 
preposition "de," is of constant occurrence, and there are other indi- 
cations of the Anglo-Norman character of the document to which I 
need not refer. 

But to return to Kilmaclenine. Amongst the antiquities of the 
place some pre-historic remains may be first noticed. One of these is 

^ Rotulus Pipse Clonensis, opera et studio Eicardi Canlfield, B.A. Corcagiae, 


120 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

a stone circle, standing on the southern slope of the table-land which 
occupies the centre of the parish ; some of the stones are prostrate, 
and all are much weather-worn and bear marks of extreme age. 
]^orth-east from this, about a quarter of a mile off, and on a site com- 
manding an extensive yiew of the valley in which are the castle and 
ruins of Kilmaclenine, are the remains of a sepulchral mound, marked 
on the ordnance map as " the Cuthoge." The local tradition is, that 
about sixty years ago, when the mound was perfect, the farmer on 
whose land it stood, believing it to be a limestone rock, built a lime- 
kiln hard by, and proceeded to quarry the stone. The limekiln still 
remains, but no lime was ever burned in it, as the farmer found only 
earth and small stones, until he approached the surface of the ground, 
when he came on a tomb composed of large slabs. In this was a 
skeleton, and by its side a sword and some beads. All these have 
disappeared, but the tomb remains, now denuded of its covering of 
earth, as in the sketch. (Plate YI.) 

This mound appears to be the one mentioned in the Eoll under the 
name oi " Knokan Glassenet qute dicitur Knokan Lepotes,"- and the 
adjoining townland and faiin are still called " Knockaun." 

The descriptive name " Glassenet" is now forgotten, and what it 
was meant to represent I am unable to say, the word having been 
written by one unacquainted with the language, and not successful 
in^ catching the pronunciation. I have been tempted to think it 
might represent ^\.is]- -pne, which, according to the Supplement to 
O'Donovan's Dictionary, means ''the foreign tribe." This would derive 
some slight support from the local belief that it is the tomb of 
Turgesius — the Dane, as usual, taking the place of the more ancient 
invader. But all this is uncertain, as is also the meaning of the 
alternative name, of which we can only say that according to the usage 
of the Eoll it represents the name by which the Knockaun was known 
to the English settlers in the thirteenth century. 

By the side of this tomb, where part of a very ancient road still 
remains, was held in the last century the great fair of Kilmac- 
lenine. In a Report on the State of the District around MaUow,^ 
prepared for the Eoyal Dublin Society in 1775, the following 
passage occurs: — "There are three remarkable fairs for horses in 
this neighbourhood— one at Xilmacleenin, four miles north-west of 
llallow, on the 21st of June ; one at Cahirmee, four miles north of 
Mallow, on the 12th of July ; and one at Kildararv, nine miles north- 
east of Hallow, on the 3rd of September." The two latter fairs still 
exist, but Kilmaclenine, having been transferred to Ballyclough some 
years ago, has since become extinct. 

From these remains which have been noticed, as well as the un- 
usual number of Lises and Eaths in the neighbourhood, and especially 

' Fi2)ct,, p. 18. 

- Jripa, p. i». 

3 Privately printed by Sii- D. J. Korreys, from a MS. found amongst Ms papers. 

Olden — On some Ancient Remains at Kilmaclenine. 121 

in the parish, it was evidently a place of importance in the sixth 
century, when Colman Mac Lenine built the cell from which it derives 
its name — ci It m^c Lenine, "the Church mac Lenine." There 
are many memorials of St. Colman in the neighbourhood, amongst 
which may be mentioned Spenser's Castle of Kilcolman, but this 
is the only instance where he is spoken of only by his family 
name. In a Paper on St. Colman' s history, which I lately published, 
I have shown from the Book of Munster that the name of Colman 
was given to him in middle age, when he was baptized by St. Brendan ; 
and on that occasion the King of Cashel, to whom he had been the 
official bard, compensated him for the loss of his fees by relieving him 
of the tribute or rent he had previously paid ; and it is just possible 
that these lands, known as those of "Mac Lenine," may have been the 
lands assigned to him as bard, and by him made over to the Church on 
his conversion to Christianity. 

However this may be, when the Eoll takes up the history of Kil- 
maclenine, early in the thirteenth century, it was called by its present 
name, and formed one of the estates of the See of Cloyne. 

The Roll deals with the Manor and Burgage of Kilmacleniae : 
taking the Manor first, we have an enumeration of the " nomina qua- 
rentenarum de terra arabili capta ad manerium."* Here are pre- 
served the names of many places in the parish which are now entirely 
forgotten ; some are Irish, some English, and some a compound of 
both. There are " le Carrxjg,^'' of which I shall speak presently, and 
" Curragh,''^ " the marshy place," and the old orchyerd, and Gorterouf, 
which appears to mean the "rough field," and le Cnoh, "the hill." 
Another was known as Gylrcdhdousfeld of Heblakerath, the latter 
name seeming to be par Jy a translation of the former. Another was 
termed Fern Maclaglily, or "Macbaghly's farm," another Rathgylle, 
which may be tlA-u-jTob, "the Eath of the School." One acre 
abutted on Mukelway, evidently the "Pig-stye road" (mucyoib). 
Another acre and a-half was near CnoTcrath "the hill of the fort," 
LakyncroxjJiey , the "hill-side of the cross," Siron Cnohrey, the "point 
of the grey hill," and Mora (the bog) de kylyn de kylmarauch ; and 
we have in English le langelond, and le hylle, and le Blakedyche, and 
" Louhunsalaueh quod dicitur Hores-loch," or " the horse-pond." The 
two Gortyngelauchs, possibly 5oi|\cin jibe^c, the " pretty garden," 
and Lessenchynauch, and lastly, Cnohan Glassenet, of which I have 
already made mention. 

There seem to have been 267 acres in the Manor, which were 
divided into 26 lots, giving an average of ten acres each. Turning 
now to the Burgage, we learn that Bishop David McKelly (1228-1237) 
"measured and perambulated certain lands which he bestowed on his 
beloved sons, the burgesses of Kylmaclenyn." This was the Burga- 
gium occupied by a colony of English settlers who were governed by 

* Pi2}a lit supra. 


122 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 

a Provost and burgesses. In the rental of the village made by 'Hhree 
of the biirgesses with the Provost," all sworn, and elected by the 
whole community, the names of twenty-nine tenants are given, with 
the rent paid by each, and the quantity of land, if any, ]ie held. 

The average was about five acres, and the rent of house and land 
about Is. Qcl. a-year. Then follow forty-eight joint teiiants who had 
no land, and whose average rent was only 4(?. a-year. These seem to 
have been of the labouring class, and no doubt serfs. The bishop gave 
an undertaking that the colony should be governed by "the law of 
Bristol." '■'■ Dicti htirgenses et eorum heredes nohis et successorihiis nostris 
secundum legem Bristolii in omniius et per omnia respondehunt, et secun- 
dum eandem legem tractalimus eosdetn.'^^ 

This law, I believe, was Magna Charta, with some slight changes. 
If we take these seventy-seven tenants to have been heads of families, 
they will represent a population of between 300 and 400, forming a 
community of some importance in a country so thinly peopled as Ire- 
land then was. Many of the names mentioned are still to be found in 
the neighbourhood : amongst them are "VVyn, Kasse (now Cash), and 
Cotte. A farmer bearing the last name lives not far from my house, a 
thrifty, hard-AVorking man, with an unmistakably Saxon face. 

IS^o information as to the occupation of these settlers can be de- 
rived from the Eoll, except that a few of them were liatachs or 
farmers, and " adscripti glebae." " Quiquidem lurgenses sunt letagii, 
quare non possunt ire ex villa nisi facer e pastur am super terras dominicas 
domini, quaequidem terrae jacent et claudunt lurgagium usque villam.''''^ 

"With regard to the great body of the colonists, it is evident that 
they must have had some other industry, and I think a clue to its 
nature may be obtained from Smith's History of Corh. He knew 
nothing whatever of the history of Kilmaclenine and its colony, but in 
enumerating the mineral productions of the county, which would 
afford industrial employment, if taken advantage of, he notices a 
deposit of ochre there. This is situated at the place whei'e there is 
little doubt the village stood, and it attracts the visitor's attention by 
its bright colour wherever the soil is exposed. Smith's words are — 
*' A pale yellow ochre comes from Kilmaclenan, near Doneraile, where 
there is plenty of it ; it turns to a brick colour, and is used by the 
glovers and skinners of that neighbourhood.'" Now as the chief, if 
not the only, export trade of Ireland in early times was that in hides, 
it is not an improbable conjecture that this deposit suggested the in- 
troduction of a colony of tanners and workers in leather, who could 
take advantage of it, and carry on a profitable industry. The village 
Avas probably built of wood, for timber was abundant ; to the north 
and west stretched the great forest (coitt mop) from which the 
barony (Kilmore) takes its name, and not far from the village, some 

^PiiHi, p. 17. ^ Ibid, p. 18. 

' The Antient and Present State of the County and City of Corh, vol. ii., p. 369. 

Olden — On some Ancient Remains at Kilmaclenine. 123 

fields are still known as " the feays," evidently the same word as " the 
fews " of Armagh, and representing the Irish, pox)^, " woods." Such 
a village would soon disappear when deserted by its inhabitants, and 
the only traces of it now remaining are the Mote and the Church, 
which, being built of stone, have survived, though much injured by 
time and the violence of man. 

The enclosure known as '' The Mote " is a solid wall crowning the 
summit of a limestone rock (Plate VII.), which rises abruptly from the 
plain to a height of about forty feet, like a miniature copy of the Rock 
of Cashel. At the eastern end, where the sides are precipitous, it has been 
enclosed by a wall about eight feet high, the area within being 128' 10" 
X 105' 4". The wall is 3' 9" thick. There is now no proper entrance, 
and access to the interior is obtained by a breach in the western wall. 
The entrance seems to have been at the east, and was evidently cut 
away when the rock was quarried at that part, some centuries ago, on 
the building of the modern castle of Kilmaclenine, which stands about 
fifty yards off. Two projecting bastions, having small windows at the 
side, command the face of the north wall and the supposed entrance. 

This little fortress is termed in the Roll the " castrum," the primi- 
tive name of the rock being given simply as "le carry g," so called 
before any building was erected on it. 

Here it was that the bishops of Cloyne resided when in this part of 
the diocese, and here they held their court and received the homage of 
such of the tenants of the See estates as were resident in the neigh- 
bourhood. Thus such entries as the following are frequent : — David 
Barry cognovit se tenere de domino Episco^o et eastro de Kylmadenyn cas- 
tellum suum de Botlion^ (Buttevant). Again, '■' Bominus Johannes Rocli- 
ford miles apud Kylmaclenyn in curia fecit domino homagium,''^^ and so 
on. But while to the bishop it was the ''castrum," his ''fortified 
residence," it served a different purpose to the colonists, and was 
known to them by a different name. It was the place where they 
held their assemblies, and the Provost and burgesses transacted the 
business of the settlement. In Spenser's State of Ireland occurs a 
dialogue in which Eudoxus says, " These round hills and square bawns 
which you see so strongly entrenched and thrown up were (they say) 
at first ordained for the same purpose, that people might assemble 
themselves therein, and therefore anciently they were called folhnotes, 
that is, a place of people to meet or talke of anything that concerned 
any difference between parties and townships." Irenaeus replies : 
" Those hills whereof you speak were appointed for two special uses, 
and built by two several nations. These folkmotes were built by the 
Saxons, as the word bewraieth, for it signifieth in Saxon a meeting of 
folk ; and these are for the most part in form, four-square, well en- 
trenched."^" This use of the enclosure is evidently the origin of the 
name " Mote," which has survived the destruction of the village, being 
that by which the peasantry designate it at the present day. 

8 Pipa, p. 12. 9 lb., p. 23. w j^iw of the State of Ireland, pp. ,127, 128. 

124 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

About two hundred yards off is the ruined church of Kilmaclenine, 
which, like the castrum, belongs to the thirteenth or fourteenth 
century. Its dimensions are — length, 49' 4" ; breadth, 23' ; thick- 
ness of walls, 3' 8", The chancel is 10' 3" by 12' 4". The west and 
south walls are standing, the former clad with a mantle of ivy spring- 
ing from massive roots, evidently of great age. All the cut stone, if 
it had any, has disappeared, and the building is a mere wreck. By 
its side is the ancient graveyard, referred to in the Roll as the " cemi- 
terium," where "the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep." It is 
unenclosed, and only distinguishable from the rest of the field by some 
rude stones buried in moss. It has been long disused. 

From the few allusions in the Roll it would appear that the village 
was near the church — as we might have supposed — and perhaps a 
little to the south-east of it, where there is a deep well, lined with 
stone, and reached by a flight of ten steps. This could not have been 
intended for the convenience of any of the present inhabitants. Close 
to this I picked up a broken quern, on a late visit to the spot. The 
foundation of this village must have taken place before 1238, the year 
in which Bishop David, who made the grant, was translated from 
Cloyne to Cashel; it must therefore be assigned at latest to 1237, that 
is, sixty-five years after the Conquest, and it was probably one of the 
earliest attempts to introduce industrial employment here, where the 
people had hardly emerged from the pastoral stage. The enterprise 
was of advantage, not only to the country generally, but specially to 
the Church, for these industrious colonists paid a considerable rent. 
This appears from the fact that while the rental of the extensive 
estates of the See was only £6 4s., the village paid £2 IBs. 9i., or 
nearly half as much. The estates were seventeen in number, and 
would now be of enormous value. The moral support which the bur- 
gesses gave their lord was also of no small importance, for he seems to 
have been at times in a position of complete isolation. The native 
Irish are only recognised in the Roll as '■'■ furi homines S'' Colmani." 
"What this meant is explained in the following passage : — " dominus 
potest omnes istos etfiUos et fiUas eorum in omnibus locis caper e et bona 
eorum seysire, et eos vender e, '' ^'^ &c. The Angio-l^orman nobles, on the 
other hand, who succeeded the original chieftains as tenants of the 
Church lands, paid their rents with the utmost reluctance, and some- 
times not at all. They were quite ready to come to Kilmaclenine, and 
do homage and promise to pay, but that was all. To take one in- 
stance in 1364: — "■ Domimis William Coy an coynovit se tenere de domino 
et de dicto castro villam de Balayhath (Ballyhay),"^^ at a rent of 6s. 8^. 
In 1368, a jury empanelled at Kilmaclenine find, that "William Cogan 
^^ fecit defaltam,''^ '^ and many others with him. Finally, in a rental at 
the end of the Roll we find his rent set down at 40^.,'* exactly half, 
having been reduced, we may presume, in the hope of inducing him to 

" Pipa, p. 8. 12 lb., p. 13. i3 jj.^ p. 23. ^^ U^ 49. 

Olden — On some Ancient Remains at Kilmaclenine. 125 

pay. In the same rental O'Henwonhan (Noonan) of TuUylease, one of 
the few chieftains who retained their position as tenants of Church land, 
is set down as holding but one carrucate of land, whereas at the earlier 
date, 1364, his predecessor, Donald, " cognovit se tenere de Domino 
TuUales totam integram qu<B continet in se septem carrucatas terrce.'''' ^^ 

Evidently the bishop's temper must have been tried with his 
tenants, but worst of all was the doubt which was raised as to his 
title. The burgesses, not satisfied with the original grant of Bishop 
David, sought a confirmation of it from Bishop Daniel (1249), who 
accordingly executed an elaborate deed of confirmation which many 
witnesses attested. This was further confirmed by the Dean of Cloyne, 
Magister Gilbertus, and the ^^ major et senior pars capituli,'''' and the 
deed sealed with their common seal. But the bishop's constant diffi- 
culty was with Barry of Kilmaclenine, who occupied in later times the 
modern castle which I have mentioned. Each seems to have claimed 
the chief lordship of the estate, and here the burgesses came to the 
bishop's aid, as we see by an entry of the finding of a jury of eight 
burgesses with the provost : " qui dicunt per sacr amentum quod dominus 
Episcopus Clonensis est capitalis dominus de Kylmaclenyn et quod nuUus 
dominus est ibidem nisi solus Episcopus.'''' '^^ The Boll is silent as to his 
opponent, but the omission is supplied by a slab, which was found some 
years ago at a considerable depth in Mallow churchyard, and has been 
since built into the wall for preservation. It contains the following in- 
scription in uncial characters much contracted: — '' Sic jacet Jacohus 
filius Wilhelmi de harry in temporalihus dominus de Kylmaclenyn.'''' 
This posthumous assertion of his right shows exactly what the point 
in dispute was. The date is supposed to be the beginning of the fif- 
teenth century. 

When the colony was established, and all the bishop's plans carried 
out, Kilmaclenine must have been an interesting spot. A spectator, 
looking from the high ground near the ancient tomb, would see to his 
left the primaeval forest extending as far as the eye could reach ; to 
the north ; about five miles off, the bluff head-land of Ceann Abhra (now 
Ballyhoura) stood out ; eastward from it ran the long range of Sliabh 
Caein, famous in Irish history, closing in the horizon like a wall, and 
broken only by the deep cleft known to colonists as " the Bed Share," 
and to the natives as^ I'^oIa,, " the Pass of Blood." 

Beneath in the valley were the buildings of the new colony — the 
Mote perched on its lofty crag, the little church where the villagers 
worshipped, the wooden houses in which they lived — all was fresh and 
new, and the future was full of hope. On every side the hum of in- 
dustry arose — the villagers were busy plying their trades ; the biatachs 
pasturing their flocks and herds on the " terras dominicas domini,^'' or, 
according to the season, sowing the bishop's " semen hyemale or quadra- 
gesimale,'''' or " tassantes et sarculantes hladum domini^''; the bishop's 

Pipa. 16 7^.^ p, 15. 

126 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

messengers going to and fro ^'^ portantes literas domini^^ ; tlie village 
packhorses bearing the bishop's ^' wine, salt, and iron"; and then the 
lords and gentlemen with their train of attendants arriving to do 
homage, and promising " tactis sacrosanctis Evangeliis''^ that they will 
surely pay in future. Everything seemed hopeful. 

But all were strangers in a strange land ; and meanwhile the 
native Irish, having no part in the new enterprise, lay hidden in the 
woods and fastnesses, waiting their opportunity, as we shall see pre- 
sently, to break forth with fire and sword, content if only they could 

How long the village continued to exist does not appear from the 
Roll, but it was evidently flourishing in 1364, when Bishop Swaffham 
commenced the Pi2:)a, and entered all previous documents in it for pre- 
servation. This was 127 years from its foundation. Shortly after 
this occurred an event which must have had a disastrous effect in the 
colony. It is thus recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters at a. d. 
1382 : — '' A plundering army was led by Murrogh O'Brien into Des- 
mond, and totally devastated it." This brief entry is expanded by 
Spenser as follows: — "One of the O'Briens, called Murrogh en 
Ranagh, that is, Morrice of the Perne or wild waste places, who, 
gathering unto him all the reliques of the discontented Irish, eftsoones 
surprised the castle of Clare . . . whence shortly breaking forth like a 
sudden tempest, he overran all Mounster and Connaught, breaking 
down ail the holds and fortresses of the English, defacing and utterly 
subverting all corporate towns that were not strongly walled .... so 
that in short space of time he clean wyped out many great towns, as 
first Inchiquin, then Killaloe, Mourne, Buttevant, and many others 
whose names I cannot remember, and of some of which there is now 
no memory remaining."" 

!N^ow, as Kilmaclenine is only three miles from Buttevant, it was 
evidently one of those settlements whose names he had forgotten, 
which were "wyped out" by Murrogh and his wood-kernes. 

The destruction, however, was not final. The villagers, no doubt, 
fled at the approach of the wild invaders, and their village was reduced 
to ashes ; but when the storm passed over they seem to have returned, 
rebuilt their log huts, and attempted again to resume their industry. 

But now a more formidable danger threatened them than Murrogh' s 
wild raid, for the Anglo-Norman nobles and gentry had begun to adopt 
Irish customs, and to practise exactions of the like kind to those which 
the old chieftains had imposed, but much more severe, and this not 
only on the tenants but on the bishop himself. 

In this emergency the bishop endeavoured to protect himself and 
his property by entering into an agreement with three of the principal 
nobles in ])is diocese. In Cloyne, with " Jacobus le Botiller, Comes 
Ormond," who was joint proprietor with the bishop of the barony of 

Spenser, p. 24. 

Olden — On some Ancient Remains at Kilmaelenine. 127 

Inchiquin ; in Fermoy, -witli the " nohtlis mr Mauritius de Rupe 
dominus de Fermoy^'' ; and at Kilmaelenine with Sir Philip Barry, 
" dominus de Olethan et MuscrydonyganP In this covenant, which is 
the same as the others, Barry -undertakes that he will not in future hy 
himself or others in his name impose " honys cowys yuidagia vel pedagia 
suiter castrum et dominium de Kylmaclenyn, ac tenentes in eisdem perma- 
nentes seu commorantes, et quoad hurge7ises dictce, villce de Kylmaclenyn, 
promisit ut supra, quod minime ponet onera ilUcita super eos,^'' &c. ;^^ and 
he is willing, if he breaks this promise (quod absit !), that the bishop 
should excommunicate him, and suppress his house within the diocese 
by an interdict. 

One can easily see how these terrible exactions of lonacht and cuid- 
oidcJie, and others too numerous to mention, classed simply as " illicita 
onera,^^ must have impoverished the little community. The " suppor- 
tacio turbarum et satellitum," referred to in another place, suggests 
the lawless rabble who followed in the train of the lord, and like 
locusts devoured the substance of the villagers. The bishop's power 
had evidently declined ; he was no longer able to protect the bur- 
gesses, or even himself ; the agreement with the Lord of Olethan was 
mere waste paper. After this we hear no more of the burgesses, and 
two years later, in 1406, King Henry lY. has to come to the bishop's 
aid with all the power of the Crown, which, however, appears to have 
been small, threatening the '' filii iniquitatis," who put "■ diversas im- 
positiones et illicita onera " on the bishop and his tenants, and ordering 
public proclamation to be made against them as rebels.-^^ In such a 
state of things no settled industry was possible ; the inhabitants would 
gradually move away to more peaceful homes, and the village aban- 
doned would quickly decay, and finally disappear. 

The next mention of Kilmaelenine is in a visitation book of 1591, 
that is 185 years later, and it runs thus — " Ecclesia de Kihflenny , 
locus desertus et vastatusT'''^ Here the name is mis-spelt, and the place 
seems entirely unknown. One hundred years later, in 1698, the 
Bishop of Cloyne writes — "The fine estate of Kilmaelenine, with 
others, was entirely lost by the determination of the Commissioners 
against the claim of the Church." And so it passed once more into lay 
hands, and is now the property of Charles Purdon Coote, d.l., after 
being Church land for 1100 years, and passing through many ecclesi- 
astical changes. 

There remain still a few observations to make with respect to 
Barry of Kilmaelenine. There is a local tradition that at a time 
not specified, but probably in the seventeenth century, the last of 
the family rode down in haste to Ballyclough Castle, and asked to 
see Colonel Purdon. The Colonel was away, and his wife refused 

18 Piim, p. 54. l^J^'., p. 59. 

""MS. T.C.D,, E 14, quoted in Brady's Records of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, vol. 

p. 272. 

128 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

to see Barry, much, to the disappointment of her husband when he 
heard of it on his return, as he knew that Barry, expecting an at- 
tainder, had come to sell his interest in Kilmaclenine. 

Failing to see anyone at Ballycloiigh, he rode on to Blarney Castle, 
where he disposed of his interest to the proprietor. This was after- 
wards sold by the Jeffreys family, and has been since bought in by Mr. 
Coote, and thus the divided ownership, which had continued for six 
centuries, has come to an end. The fact of such an interest or chief 
rent remaining after the property had passed from the bishop may per- 
haps lead to the suspicion that Barry had the best of the contest with 
him, and was entitled to have himseK described on his tombstone as 
"in temporalihus dominus de KilmaclenineP 

The parish is now indeed waste and desert as to its Mote, its 
church, and its village, but otherwise it is as of old, when the terri- 
tory to which it belongs was described by O'Heerin : — 

" The territory of O'Donnegain certainly 
Is the Grreat Muscraighe of Three Plains 
With the host of the flock abounding larann — 
Host of the sunny land of vowed deeds." 







Dii. Ingram — On Medieval Moralized Tales. 129 

XXVII. — Ok two CoiLECTiojfs or Medieval Moealized Tales. £y 
JoHX K. IngbaMj LL.D. 

[Kead lOth April, 1S82.] 

It is well known to students of tlie literature of the middle ages that 
the clergy of that period often introduced stories and anecdotes into 
their discourses, as indeed modern preachers also occasionally do, for 
the purpose of impressing reKgious and moral truth on the minds of 
their hearers. To furnish materials of this kind, compilations were 
made, in the Latin language, of narratives capable of being so used, 
with moralizations, as they were called, given in connexion with each. 
These tales are sometimes elevated in tone, and touching, from the 
spirit of simple-minded and earnest piety which is exhibited in them. 
At other times they seem to us strangely incongruous with the sacred 
destination for which they were intended ; and not seldom an extraor- 
dinary degree of ingenuity has to be exercised by the narrator to 
extract from them lessons which they do not appear inherently well 
fitted to convey. But, in both cases alike, they are not only in them- 
selves curious and interesting, but they give us a good deal of insight 
into the ideas, sentiments, and modes of action prevalent at the time 
of their compilation. And this all the more because they are essen- 
tially popular in their nature — meant, indeed, for the use of ecclesias- 
tics, but by them to be addressed to the minds of the people at large, 
and therefore adapted to their modes of thinking and feeling. 

The most famous collection of this kind is the Gesta Rommiorum. 
This book, which dates from the end of the thirteenth or early years 
of the fourteenth century, had an immense vogue, and exerted no 
inconsiderable influence on European literature. For the critical 
edition of it by Oesterley, no fewer than one hundred and sixty- 
five MSS. were examined. An English version of the Gesta was 
printed by Wynkyn de Worde about 1510-1515, and many editions 
of this were afterwards published. It was edited by Sir Frederic 
Madden, with much learned illustration, for the Roxburghe Club, in 
1838 ; and his edition has been reproduced, with large additional pre- 
fatory matter and comment, by Mr. Sidney Herrtage for the Early 
English Text Society. 

All scholars are aware how largely the Gesta has supplied materials 
which have through various channels passed into general literature, 
and been used by Shakspere and other eminent writers in some of 
their most celebrated works. 

The two books which I exhibit this evening to the Academy are 
of similar character to the Gesta, being collections of Latin Mora- 
lized Tales. But they are not of equal intrinsic merit with that 
work, and on general literature they have had no operation at all. Yet 


130 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

they are, I believe, of very great interest. They appear to be quite 
unknown to — they are at least entirely unnoticed by — writers on this 
branch of Medieval Literature. Sir Frederic Madden, in the very full 
account he has given of compilations of this kind, makes no mention 
of either, nor are they referred to by Mr. Wright, who brought out a 
selection of stories of the same kind as they contain, gathered from 
several different sources, under the auspices of the Percy Society, in 
1842. I have sent a description of these collections to Mr. Herrtage, 
who has had occasion to examine the various extant MSS. containing 
similar matter, in preparing his edition of the English Gesta, and he 
has informed me that he is quite unacquainted with them, and has 
never met with, or heard of, a copy of either. 

Both the volumes which lie on the table were placed in my hands 
by my friend the Very Rev. John Gwynn, Dean of Eaphoe, formerly 
Fellow of Trinity College. They belong to the Diocesan Library, 
Derry. They were submitted to the late Rev. J. H. Todd in 1849, 
and he wrote descriptive notes on them, which have been preserved, 
and which I proceed to give in full. 

His description of the larger volume is as follows : — 

" This is a very curious and valuable MS., written about the middle 
of the fourteenth century. It is divided into two parts. Part I. ends 
on fol. xci., and is followed, fol. xcii., by an index of the chapters. 
The second part begins on the next leaf, and has the following head- 
ing:— _ 

'* ' Terminata prima parte exemplorum in moralibus per narra- 
tiones et materias diversas. Sequitur secunda pars exemplorum in 
moralibus naturalibus et artificialibus secundum alphabetum prout in 
Uteris et vocalibus in concordantiis fieri solet et conseribi.' 

" Under which, in a different and somewhat later hand, is the fol- 
lowing interesting historical note : — 

"'Memorandum est et firmiter memorise traclendum de quadam 
strage patrata per Donaldum Mathgnis prope castrum viride quinto 
die mensis Julii Anno Domini millesimo quadrincentesimo nonagesimo 
septimo ac cicli Solaris anno quinto, necnon et cicli xix^'^ sexto decimo. 
Qua quidem strage mortem subierunt nobilis Tebaldus Yerdon ac 
famosus Bernardus Magmawne tunc temporis suae nationis capi- 

" [The Anncds of Ulster mention this event under the same day 
and year, 1497. But they represent Brian MacMahon, who was 
killed in the conflict, as the aggressor. They say he was instigated 
by Seffin Fait [Geoffry "White] to attack Magenis, and drive him and 
his sons from the Castle of Oirenach. The predecessor of this Brian 
[or Bernardus] Mac Mahon was the first chief of the Mac Mahons who 
joined the English. See O'Donovan, Four Masters, p. 1225.] 

"The author of this curious work is not (as far as I have dis- 
covered) named in any part of it, and I am not aware that it has ever 
been printed. The first part is divided into chapters, under heads 
such as the following : — 

Dr. Ingram — On Medieval Moralized Tales. 131 

" ' De superbia, et presumptione, et extollentia sui, et humilitate 
et patientia bona.' 

"'De iracundia et blasphemis et perjuris, et invidia fratemee 

" *De liberalitate et humanitate et patientia et crudelitate princi- 

&c., &c. 

" Under each head curious anecdotes are given, tending to set forth 
the dangers of vice and the advantages of the several virtues or 
graces. The following example occurs (fol 49) in the section headed 
' De memoria mortis et mundi contemptu.' I select it chiefly because 
it is short : — 

" !Fuit quidam nobilis pijnceps adhuc infidelis, qui cum videret et 
per signa evidentia cognosceret se appropinquare ad mortem, fecit suda- 
rium quo debuit sepeliri explicatum portari per villam. Et clamabat 
preco valenter, Ego cum sim dominus multarum regionum, hoc solum 
porto mecum de tota substantia mea et gloria mundi. Ideo providete 
vobis ut bona opera facta in vita vos inseperabiliter comitentur. Cum 
interierit homo, non sumet omnia, neque descendet cum eo gloria 

" The second part is written in a different hand from the first : it 
is arranged in alphabetical order, and the subjects are illustrated not 
by stories or anecdotes, but by sentences quoted apparently from 
various authors. As a specimen of the contents of this part of the 
work, I transcribe some of the headings : — 







&c., &c. 

" This part is imperfect, some leaves being lost at the end of the 
volume. It ends with the word Munclus, the illustrations of which 
are imperfect on the last page — ending with the word verherahitur. 

" On the upper margin of the first leaf, in a hand of the fifteenth 
century, the title of the book is thus given by some ancient librarian : 

" 'Incipit prima pars Exemplorum in moralibus per narraciones, 

*' ' Sequitur secunda pars Exemplorum in moralibus naturali- 
bus. . . . Inferius prope finem.' 

" On the lower margin are the old library marks — 

Px. 62 

N°. 39 , 


I Derry. 


132 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

" There are two very interesting and valuable leaves — one at tlie 
beginning of the volume, the other at the end — "which were pasted on 
the wooden binding. They are fragments of the ancient ' Lectiona- 
rium ' of the English Church, and ought to be carefuUy preserved, as 
they are extremely curious. They appear to be as old as the twelfth 

"J. H. T. 


" All Saints' Bay, 1849." 

So far Dr. Todd ; and there is not much to be added to what he has 
said. The entire volume, it should be mentioned, is of parchment. 
A note is pasted within the cover containing the words " Called in the 
catalogue Hanson's ]^J[anuscript." The second portion of the volume, 
it will be seen, is of less interest than the first, being a mere moral 
treatise, which appears, from such examination as I have made of it, 
to be as dull as moral treatises too often are. It is the first portion 
that is valuable, as containing a great body of moralized tales. 

That the moral treatise, which occupies the second part of the 
volume, was written in England, seems certain from the quotation 
in it of the following English verses, accompanied by a translation (or 
paraphrase) in Xorman-Erench : — 

' . . . quod Angliee dicitur 
"WTian ^Q nyjyiig is ded and ly]) "by ^ "srowe 
Comejj a prout song man and ■u'03e)i his love 
Drynke]' of Ms broun ale and et of Ms Ihove 
And singe Jj for Ms saule gyvelgoTe. 

Quant ly avers est mort et gyt soutL la bere 
Yient un ioefne bacbeler e daunye sa bele 
Boyt de sou bone vyne e mout sa sele 
Et chaunt p'' sglme va la ly durele.' 

The leaves wliich formed part of the binding appear to be a portion 
of an ancient Breviary. I have not been able to identify it with any 
other of the many existmg forms of Breviary. I print it in full in 
Appendix B to the present Paper, and leave it to the study of 
better Liturgiologists than myself. 

The other volume on the table, which is of paper, with leaves 
of parchment interspersed here and there, is made up of a lai'ge 
number of different pieces. They were in part described by Dr. 
Todd as follows : — 

" Contexts of this YoiihiEE, 
"1. Hie incipiunt decem mandata que bene declarantnr. 
" A [commentary on the Ten Commandments.] 

Dr. Ingram — On Medieval Moralized Tales. 133 

*' 2. Haec sunt privilegia diei "Veneris. 

" [Eemarkable events which happened on Friday, and the 
reasons for fasting on that day.] 

'' 3. Pater noster. 

'' [A commentary on the Lord's Prayer.] 

"4. Credo in Deum. 

" [A commentary on the Creed.] 

"5. A tract beginning: 'In Hibernia primum predicavit beatus 
Patricius verbum Christi.' 

'' [This is a very curious tract. It mentions at the begin- 
ning that our Lord appeared to St. Patrick, and gave him 
two precious gifts, viz., a copy of the Gospels, and a staff — 
both which (says the author) are preserved in Ireland to this 
day. It then goes on to describe St. Patrick's Purgatory, 
and the visions of an English knight, who entered it in the 
reign of King Stephen. 

' ' This is no doubt the * History of the Knight ' mentioned 
in the Annals of Ulster at a. d. 1497. See O'Donovan's 
Four Masters, p. 1238, note.]' 

*' 6. ' Iste liber est qui docet vivere perfecte, et est nominatus specu- 
lum Sancti Edmundi Confessoris.' 

" [This work is printed in the Lyons Biblioth. Patrum : 
vol. XXV., p. 316. It is sometimes called 'Speculum Ecclesise.' 
This copy differs a good deal in various readings from the 
printed editions.] 

" St Edmund was Abp. of Canterbury, and died a.d. 1246, 

" 7. ' TJtilitates missae : et sex causse inductionis contritionis, De sero 

" [Here a page and a half are blank.] 

"8. ' Hie incipit tractatus beati Eoberti Lincolniensis Episcopi de 
penis purgatorii.' 

" [This work was never printed. It is by Eobert Grost- 
head, alias Copley, Pp. of Lincoln, a. d. 1230. 

" g:|= This tract ends thus: ' De quo dolore nos defen- 
dat qui sine fine vivit et imperat. Amen q** do^ Johannes 

"This John Ardyslay was therefore probably the tran- 
scriber of the volume.] 

^ I have transcribed this tract, though I do not propose to make any use of it in 
the present Paper. It is in substance the same with the story of the " Miles," told 
in Messingham's Florilegium Insulae Sanctorum; but the narrative is given in the 
Deny volume in very simple and popular language, and without any of the rhetori- 
cal amplification which is found in Messingham. — J. K. I, 

134 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

" 9. ' Incipit libellus de miseria conditionis humange.' This book be- 
gins thus : ' Domino Patri Karissimo Petro Dei gratia 
Portuensi Episcopo Lothariiis indigniis diaconns, gratiam in 
presenti et gioriam in futuro.' 

" [This work is by Lothaire, afterwards Pope Innocent III., 
written whilst he was only a deacon, and dedicated to Peter, 
Bp. of Porto. It has been repeatedly printed.] 

"10. ' Hie incipit tractatus quidem^ speculum sive lumen laycorum.' " 

Here ends Dr. Todd's description, which is accurate, except that 
he has omitted to mention short notes on the Ave Maria and on the 
celestial spheres. He has said nothing of the Speculum Laicorum 
beyond giving its title, and yet it forms the main interest of the 
volume, of which it occupies one hundred and forty-four folios, or 
about two-thirds of the whole. I cannot doubt that he had intended 
to examine it carefully, and was prevented by some interruption from 
carrying the purpose into effect. 

Before returning to the Speculum, I may mention the remaining 
contents of the volume. At the close of that treatise we have the 
words, * Hie incipit liber qui vocatur Ancelmus \_sic'] de morte,' and 
at the end of this piece comes another with the heading, ' Hae sunt 
revelaciones Jhesu Christi domini nostri. Yerba quae revelavit domi- 
nus Jhesus Christus servo suo nomine Alberto archiepiscopo civitatis 
CoUonensis.' "With the conclusion of this piece the volume ends. 

Coming back to the Speculum, we find it to contain a vast body of 
moralized tales and anecdotes. Another copy of it, occupying the 
whole of a ms. volume of one hundred and thirty-three leaves of 
parchment, exists in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, very 
superior to the Derry volume in correctness of transcription and finish 
of execution, as well as earlier in date. It is written in a beautiful 
hand of the early part of the fifteenth century, and many of the initial 
letters are gilt or illuminated. "Whether any third copy of the work 
is extant, I cannot positively state ; but, as I have said, the best au- 
thorities do not mention any such. Mason, in preparing his Catalogue 
of the Trinity College irss., saw that the Dublin copy of the Speculum 
wants a leaf at the beginning ; the contents of this are now supplied 
by the Derry copy. The leaf contained a curious preface in which the 
author states the motives which led him to compose the work', and 

- Eather qui dicitur. — J. K. I. 

^ The following are extracts from the preface : — 

' ' In Christo sibi dilecto quondam scolari et conf ratri moderno suus et suorimi 
minimus feliciter vivere et in pace mori. Assumptus nuper ad animarum curam, 
de tui status debito sollicitus, crebris me precibus postulasti quicquam tibi scribere 
quod instruendis laycis amplius crederem expedire . . . Accipias igitur placide quod 
munus tibi pauper amiculus mittitexiguum. . . . Quoniam, ut dicit apostolus, lacte. 

Dr. Ingram — On Medieval Moralized Tales. 135 

also a part of the table of contents. The subjects successively treated 
are such as the following : — 

" de abstinentia vera ficta et stulta. 
"■ 2"". de adquisitis injuste et eorum periculo. 
" 3™. de advocatis malis et eorum periculo. 
" 4". de adulterio et malis ejus. 
" 5™. de am ore dei et ejus causis. 
" 6". de amore mundi et ejus fallaciis. 
" 7". de amore carnali et ejus meritis. 
*' 8"". de amicitia vera et ficta. 
" Q'". de apostatis et eorum periculis. 
" 10". de avaritia et ejus efPectibus." 

And so on through the entire alphabetical series. 

The materials of the work are borrowed from a great variety of 
authors. The classical writers of antiquity are but little quoted ; 
there are references to Aristotle — some of whose works were known 
through Latin versions — to Cicero, Horace, Valerius Maximus, and 
Seneca. But the sources on which the compiler has drawn most 
largely are the writings of St. Augustine, especially the De CivitateDei, 
the Historia Tripartita of Cassiodorus, the Dialogues of St. Gregory, 
the collection known as Vitae Patrum, the curious treatise entitled 
Barlaam andJosaphat, various Lives of Saints, the JDisciplina Clericalis of 
Petrus Alfonsus, and the works of St. Isidore of Seville, of Bede, of 
Jacobus de Vitriaco, of Peter of Clugny (otherwise known as Peter 
the Venerable), and of Jacobus de Voragine, author of the Legenda 
Aurea. I have met one reference to the Gesta Romanorum,'^ but I can- 
not find the corresponding story in that collection, and I believe that 
the writer means to designate by the words not the body of tales so 
named, but Roman history in general, just as elsewhere he has ''Gesta 
Francorum " for the history of the Franks. Some of the narratives 
appear to have been taken, not from books, but from popular rumour 
or tradition, commencing as they do with Fertur simply. In the 
moralizations very large use is made of the Old and ]S"ew Testament, 
with the text of which the compiler seems to have been thoroughly 

The book appears to have been written by an English author. This 
is made probable by the great number of tales relating to English 
personages and localities ; it is proved, I think, by one story (in the 

non cibo solido, nutriendi sunt in scientia debiles et in fide rudes, ne, dum duriora 
sument, edentuli prius intereant quam pascantur, ego de simplicium numero mioi- 
mus ad honorem dei eruditionemque rudium e sanctorum patrum et doctorum legen- 
dis et scriptis temporumque praeteritorum ac modernorum quibusdam eventibus 
exemplisque naturalibus non margaritas sed aliquas [f siliquasj coUegi quasi peco- 
ribus. ..." 

* See Tale VIII. in Appendix A, 

136 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

section De Prelatis) in which the writer — in this, as is well known, 
representing the English feeling of the time — strongly takes part with 
Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, in his contest with Pope Irmocent lY. 

That the Derry volnnie containing the Speculum was once the pro- 
perty of a religious house is rendered highly probable by the following 
words written at the head of the verso of folio 10 : — 

" Or. miserere quaesumus, domine, animabus omnium benefacto- 
rum nostrorum defunctorum, et pro beneficiis quae nobis lergiti [sic] 
sunt in terris, praemia eterna consequantur in ceKs." 

The Trinity College copy of the Specuhim has the following at the 
end: — 

"Explicit tractatulus Speculum Laicorum nuncupatus 
Laus tibi Cliriste ; Uber jam explicit iste. 

Burbage Scriptor." 

Burbage was doubtless not the author of the work, but the tran- 
scriber of that copy.^ 

I have extracted a number of the tales both from the Speculum and 
from the larger Derry volume (which, for brevity, may be called the 
Exempla), and had intended to read them to-night. But it would be 
impossible for the members of the Academy to follow the Latin — 
sometimes crabbed or peculiar, in which the books are written — when 
thus read ; and, if translated into modern English, the stories would lose 
much of their freshness and quaintness. I purpose therefore, with 
the permission of the Academy, to print in the Proceedings a few 
specimens of the tales, and I think I can promise that they will 
be found curious and entertaining. The Speculum especially, which 
I have studied more closely than the other collection, appears to me 
very interesting. It is scarcely too much to say that we have in it 
a Popular IToral EncyelopaBdia of the Fourteenth century. I think 
scholars would welcome an edition of it, and I will conclude by 
recommending it to the attention of any publishing society which 
occupies itseK with Latin Medieval Literature. 

* In the cover of tbe smaller Deny volume (as in tbett of the larger) t-^o leaves 
were inserted. These have been preserved. They are filled -with matter in a hand- 
"vvriting probably of the thiiteenth century- On reading this, I at once conjectm-ed 
that it was a part of the Life of Becket by Herbert de Bosham — and I guessed that it 
might be a fragment of the lost portion of that work. I was right in my conjec- 
ture as to the book from which the leaves came, and my further expectations were 
not far from being realized. For some of the matter contained in them has been 
lost out of both the two extant ms. copies of de Bosham's work ; but this matter 
had been supplied by Dr. Giles in 1841 from an abridged form of the Life, pre- 
served in the Phillipps collection. The passage contained in the leaves is that 
which appears in pp. 253—255 of vol. iii. of Canon Robertson's Materials for the 
History of Becket, describing the reception and behaviour of the Archbishop at 
the Council of Tours. 

Dr. Ingram — On Medieval Moralized Tales. 137 


The following tales have been chosen with a view to variety of 
source and of character. "Where it is not otherwise indicated, the tale 
is taken from the Speculum Laicorum. I have not thought it necessary 
to adhere strictly to the spelling and punctuation of the original. 

Legitur in vita Sancti Ignacii quod cum ipse staret coram tyranno 
nomen Ihesum instanter nominans, quaesivit ab eo tyrannus cur nomen 
tarn crebro nominaret. Eespondit sanctus, quia scriptum est in corde 
meo, ideo non potest cessare ab ore. Tyrannus volens hoc certius pro- 
bare occidit eum et investigans cor invenit in ejus corde scriptum 
litteris aureis, Jhesus est amor mens. Iste sanctus potuit competen- 
terdicere cum beato Paulo illud, Act. 21 : non solum alligari sed mori 
paratus sum propter nomen domini Jhesu Christi. Yerum Bernardus 
super Canticis, Jhesus mel in ore, melos in aure, jubilus in corde. 


E.efert idem Petrus quod duo fuerunt mercatores, quorum unus 
erat Egyptius alter vero Angiicus, qui nunquam se mutuo viderant, 
vinculo tamen maximae dilectionis jungebantur, ita quod quicquid 
alter ab altero voluerat per intervenientes reportaretur. Cumque 
itaque diutius agerentur, contigit Anglicum in Egyptum velle pro- 
gredi causa suum amicum videndi. Venit itaque illuc et ab amico 
suo gaudenter recipitur, postque octo dies graviter infirmatur. 
Egyptius contristatur, medicus adducitur, pulsus et urina consideran- 
tur, nihil febrium vel infirmitatis alterius invenitur. amore languere 
comprobatur. Sciscitatur Egyptius ab infirmo quam amet, et respon- 
det, 'Mulieris cujusdam amore langueo quam in domo tua vidi; quae 
tamen ilia sit vel quod nomen habeat, penitus ignore ; quam nisi 
amplexatus fuero, scias me sine remedio moriturum. Adducuntur 
igitur coram eo omnes mulieres quae fuerant in domo Egyptii. inter 
quas erat quaedam pulcherrima, qua visa recedit languidus, et recupe- 
rate spiritu suspirans ait, Haec est causa meae aegritudinis, haec et 
esse poterit causa meae sanitatis. Quo audito, Egyptius puellam illam 
quam in proprium conjugium nutrierat, amico suo tradidit in uxorem, 
remeavitque Angiicus ille ad propria cum uxore sua. Posthac autem 
Egyptius ille ad summam devenit paupertatem ita ut victum quaereret 
ostiatim. confususque recessit a propriis et in Angiiam pervenit et 
cum ad villam perveniret in qua degit amicus ejus recepit se sub divo 
fame et frigore cruciatus, dicens intra se, Heu mihi misero quia in 
tantam perveni miseriam ut hospitium non inveni quo tegar hoc nocte, 
et si amicum meum inveniam, mei non habebit notitiam, tantam in me 
videns paupertatem. Divertit itaque se ad vicinam ecclesiam, in ea 

138 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

permansurus usque mane. Contigitque ea nocte quemdam de concivi- 
bus alium occidisse et usque eandem ecclesiam confugisse, quern 
insequentes ceteri conciTes invenerunt Egyptium ilium in ecclesia. 
Quaerunt ab eo quo devenisset homicida. At ille taedium habens 
vitae suae, ait, Ego sum qui occidi eum. Capitur itaque et judici 
praesentatur. Aifuitque inter ceteros amicus ejus, et recognoscens 
damans dixit, Injuste judicatis hominem istum ; ego homicidium 
istum perpetravi. Capitur igitur ille et condemnatur. Cum igitur 
ad tam stupendum spectaculum plures de civibus confluxissent, advenit 
et ille homicida, et videns duos innocentes pro suo reatu condemnari, 
confitebatur commissum suum, malens juste puniri quam se non punito 
alios pro suo facto minus juste suspendi. Mirantibus itaque judice 
cum astantibus et planius rei rectitudinem indagantibus reperierunt 
unum amicorum penuria, alium amoris constantia devictum judicium 
subiisse, ipsosque non sine laudibus absolventes, bomicidam verum 
suspenderunt. Accipiens igitur Anglicus Egyptium medietatem omnem 
ei dedit suorum et ditatum amplissime ad sua remisit in pace.® 


Senescallus cujusdam comitis in Anglia ita fuerat durus pauperibus 
tenentibus domini sui quod eos falsis accusationibus et extorsionibus 
penitus destruxit. Mortuusque est, ostensusque uni tenentium ipsorum 
in spiritu in collobio nigro linguam suam emittens et [manu propria 
rasorio particulatim scindens et particulas ipsas in os suum projiciens 
et iterate linguam integram emittens et scindens] et sic continuo 
faciens. E-equisitus igitur quis esset, respondit quod Senescallus ille 
qui nuper ipsum et ceteros tenentes domini sui vexavit injuste. Addi- 
ditque quod illam passionem sustinuit in lingua propter injuriosas 
implacitationes quas pauperibus frequentius movebat. Sublevans col- 
lobium, apparuit corpus suum quasi ferrum ignitum. 

Instead of the sliocking description ■witMn tiie brackets, given in the Derry 
MS., api^ears in the Dublin ms. the single -word " incidens." 

ly. — [From the Exempla.) 

Fuit quidam praepositus in Leycestria qui avaritia exaestuans non 
cessavit injuste pecuniam ab biis quibus praefuit extorquere. Quadam 
autem die in solario domus suae se includens coepit quasi luctando cum 
aliquo tumultum magnum facere. Eacta est interim vox cuidam ejus 
servienti dicens, Vade et die domino tuo quod venio accipere quod 

^' This story is taken from the Dlsciplina Cleriealis of Petrus Alfonsus, but 
with changes, the principal of which is the substitution of an English merchant 
for one of ' ' Baldach," which means ' ' Bagdad ' ' (an alteration which, as Dean Gwynn 
has remarked to me, confinns mj'' opinion as to the English origin of the Speculum.) 
It is also told, but not in the same words as here, in the Gesta Bomanorum, cap. 
171, and in Herolt, Sermonesde Temp., 120. 

Dr. Ingram — On Medieval Moralized Tales. 139 

mihi debetur. Cumque ille vellet ingredi ad dominum suiiin, coepit 
dominiis defendere ingressum. Qui adquisito adjutorio violenter in- 
gressus solarium. Quod videns praepositus, continuo seipsum jugu- 
lavit, et manibus propriis divisas partes gutturis atrociter decerpsit ; 
et sic infeliciter vitam finivit. 

V. — {From the Exempla.)^ 

]!^arrat Yalerius quod quaedam vetula adorabat deos et eisdem 
sacrificia offerebat pro longa yita Dionysii tyranni. A qua cum ille 
quaereret quo merito suo boc faceret, respondit vetula et ait, Cum 
eram puella et gravem haberemus tyrannum, optabamus quod more- 
retur. Quo mortuo successit tetrior arcem dominationis ejus occupans. 
Suceessit et tertiuspejor et crudelior primis. Successisti et tu quartus, 
importunior et importabilior aliis. Timens itaque ne, si tu fueris ab- 
sumptus, post te locum tuum crudelior teneat et tibi in dignitate suc- 
cedat, [quare] caput meum cotidie diis pro salute tua devoveo. 
Dionysius autem quamquam tyrannus tarn facetam audaciam punire 
erubuit et vetulam abire permisit. 


Legitur in vita Sti. Brandani quod ei existenti in mari apparuit 
quaedam anima in nube borrida et tenebrosa flens et dicens, Oro te, 
pater, in caritate Christi Jbesu ut depreceris pro me misero peccatore 
per instans triduum misericordiae patrem, quia gravissime torqueor pro 
meis reatibus in bac nube. Cumque sanctus ejus annuisset precibus, 
statim disperuit, paterque secundum suam sponsionem per triduum 
cum fratribus oravit pro eo. Peracto triduo apparuit iterum in nube 
aliquantulum clariore in parte tamen tenebrosa, dicens. Melius mibi 
fore sentio, pater, propter orationes vestras. Precor insuper ut per 
sequens triduum rogetis pro me. Quod pater sanctus fecit devote. 
Septima itaque die apparuit in lucida nube tota munda et fulgida, 
gratias agens et dicens se ea die in gloriam celestem fuisse deductum. 
Cui sanctus, Quis es tu et quomodo vocaris ? Ad quod ilia, Colomanus 
vocor, et monachus eram iracundus et seminator discordiarum inter 
fratres, propter quod ita fueram flagellatus. 


Quidam in arcbiepiscopatu de Dyvelyn^ cum una die voluisset arcam 
suam plenam denariis aperire, invenit super eos simiam .sedentem et 
dicentem sibi, " Noli tangere pecuniam istam, quia est Colewyni," i. e. 
diaboli ; nee mirum, cjuia quod servus adquirit, domino suo adquirit, 
ut dicitur in jure civili. 

" This story is taken, though not verbally copied, from Valerius Maximus, lib. ri. 
cap. 2. It is told also in G'est Rom., 53. 

^ Develyn in Dubl. ms. ; " Dublin " is meant. 

140 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


Legitur in gestis Eomanorum quod cum quidam Juvenis nobilis 
nomine Lucianus quamdam virginem desponsaret nomine Eugeniam, 
et post convivium cum sodalibus fuisset ingressus in campum ad spa- 
tiandum, anulum suum quem habebat in digito, digito cujusdam sta- 
tuae aereae astantis quasi conservandum dum luderet imponebat. Cum 
ludo satisfecisset et anulum a statua repetisset, digitum ipsum statuae 
usque ad volam repperit incurvatum ita quod nee poterat erigi nee 
anulus ab eo evelli. Recedens ergo damnum anuli dissimulans do- 
mum regreditur et in lectulo cum nova conjuge coUocatur, et cum 
operi conjugali dare vellet operam, sensit inter se et conjugem huma- 
nam effigiem locatam et dicentem Mecum coneumbe quia bodie me 
desponsasti ; ego sum Venus cujus digito anulum imposuisti. Cum- 
que hoc ipsum pluribus noctibus ageretur et uxorem propriam cognos- 
cere prohiberetur, quidam presbyter civitatis nomine Palumbus magicis 
imbutus artibus requiritur, tumque salarium petitur et praestatur. 
Dixit itaque presbyter ad juvenem, vade bora noctis ad compitum 
proximum, et, considerans ibi transientes, quem inter eos ultimum et 
elegantioris staturae esse perspexeris, illi litteras quas tibi trado meo 
nomine commenda. Adit igitur juvenis compitum, turbam multam 
transire conspicit et inter alios mulierem quasi in habitu meretricio 
mulam equitantem, quae fuit ipsa Venus, quam quidam quasi collegii 
magister sequebatur. Cui juvenis litteras protendit a presbytero trans- 
missas, quas cum diabolus ille legisset, bracbiis in celum protensis, ait, 
Omnipotens Deus, quamdiu Palumbi presbyteri nequitias patieris ! 
et hoc dicto, satellites suos ad Venerem dirigit, anulumque ab ea vio- 
lenter extorsit, et juveni donavit. Palumbus vero ab bora impreca- 
tionibus diabolicis finem vitae sortiens omnia membra sua truncavit et 
misera morte defunctus est. 


Quidam nobilis in AngHa, babens terras in Anglia et in "Wallia, tres 
habuit filios, qui, cum morti appropinquare se videret, vocavit tres filios 
suos et dixit eis, Si necesse fuerit vos aves fieri, quibus avibus velletis 
assimilari ? Cui respondit primogenitus. Ego assimilarer accipitri, quia 
nobilis avis est et de rapina vivit. Medius autem dixit, Et ego sturno, 
quia socialis est et turmatim volat. Tertius et junior aliis, Et ego cygno, 
quia longum collum babet, ut si aliquid dicendum in corde verteretur, 
bene possem deliberare antequam verbum veniret ad os. Pater autem 
haec audiens dixit primo, Tu fill, ut video vivere cupis de raptu, do tibi 
terras meas in Anglia, quia terra pacis est et justitiae, et in ea non 
poteris rapere impune. Tu autem, fili, qui societatem amas, babebis 
terras meas in Wallia, quae est terra discordiae et guerrae, quia per 
curialitatem malitiam comparabis [?] incolarum. Tibi autem, junior, 
nuUam terram assigno, quia sapiens eris et per sapientiam tuam suffi- 
cienter tibi adquires. Mortuo igitur patre dividuntur terrae ut pater 
praedixerat ; f rater autem junior, in sapientia proficiens, f actus est 
capitalis justiciarius Angliae opulentus. 

Dr. Ingram — On Medieval Moralized Tales. 141 


I have thought it better to print the whole of the matter in these 
leaves, including the passages of Scripture, on account of the frequent 
and sometimes curious variations which occur in them from the received 
text of the Yulgate. What follows is an exact transcript of the words 
of the original except that contractions are expanded. The Lessons are 
from I. Maccabees, chap. 6; and Ezekiel, chaps. 1, 2, and 3. The 
points indicate breaks arising from the leaves having been cut 
down for use in the binding of the volume. 

[First Leaf.] 

cationem sicut prius circumdederunt muris altis sed et Bethsuram 
civitatem suam. 

L. IIP. 

Et factum est ut audivit sermones istos expavit et commotus est 
valde et procidit in lectum et incidit in lectum et incidit prestitia^ in 
languorem, quia non est ei factum sicut cogitabat. Et erat illic diebus 
multis quum renovata est in eo tristitia magna. Et arbitratus est se 
mori. Et vocavit omnes amicos suos dixitque ilKs. Recessit somnus 
ab oculis meis et concidi et corrui corde prse sollicitudine et dixi in 
corde meo. In quantam tribulationem deveni et tempestatem magnam 
in qua nunc sum quia jocundus eram et delicatus in potestate magna. 

Don. Y\ Lc. I\ 

Nunc ergo reminiscor malorum quEe feci in Jerusalem, et unde abs- 
tuli omnia spolia argentea et aurea qu^ erant in ea et misi auferri 
habitantes Judeam sine causa. Et cognovi quia propter hsec invene- 
runt me mala ista et ecce pereo tristitia in terra aliena. 

Lc. II. 

Et vocavit Pilippum unum de amicis suis. Et prsepo .... 
stolam suam et anulum suum ut adduceret Antiochum filium suum. 
et nutriret eum ut regnaret . Et mortuus est Antiochus rex ilLic anno 
none et x°l : et centessimo. 

Lectio Teetia. 

Et cognovit Lysias quoniam mortuus est rex, et constituit regnare 
Antiochum filium ejus quern nutrivit adolescentiorem et vocavit nomen 
ejusEupaton.^° Et hi qui erant in arce concluserant Israel in circuitu 
sanctorum et querebant eis mala semper ad firmentum^" gentium. 

^ CoiTected to " prae tiistitia." 'o Sie. 

142 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Lectio IIII''. 

Et cognovit Judas disperdere eos et convocavit urLiversmn populum 
ut obsederent eis. Et convenerunt simul et obsederunt eos anno 1° 
et centessimo et fecerunt balistas et machinas. Et exierunt quidam 
ex impiis Israel et adjunxerunt se illis. et abierunt ad regem et 
dixeruut Quousque non facis judicium et vindicas fratres nostros. jSTos 
distinavimus servire patri tuo et ambulare 

L. v^ 

Quicunque invenibantur ex nobis interficiebantur bereditates nos- 
trse diripiebantur. Et non ad nos tantum extenderunt manum sed 
etiam in omnes fines tuos. Et ecce applicuerunt hodie ad arcem in 
Jerusalem occupare earn. Et munitionem in Bethsuram munierunt. 
Et nisi preveneritis eos velocius majora quam haec facient et non 
poteritis obtinere eos. Et iratus est autem rex ut audivit et convocavit 
omnes amicos sues et principes exercitus sui et eos qui super equites 
erant [sed etj" de regnis aliis et de insolis et maritimis et venerunt 
ad eum exercitus conduct! et erat numerus exercitus ejus centum 
millia peditum et xx milia equitum et elipanti xxxii scientes prelium. 
Et venerunt per Idumeam et applicuerunt ad betbsui'am et pugnaverunt 
dies multos et fecerunt ■machinas et exierunt et succenderunt eas igni 
et pugnaverunt f ortiter. 

Lectio YI^. 

regis. Et surrexit rex ante lucem et suscitavit exercitum in impetu 
suo contra viamBethsacbaram et comparaverunt se virtutes in prelium 
et tubis cecinerunt et elephantis ostenderunt sanguinem uvag et moii 
ad acuendos eos in prelium. Et diviserunt bestias per legiones et 
astiterunt singulis eliphantis mille viri loricati concatenatis, et galeae 
aeresein capitibus eorum et quingenti equites ornati singulis bestis electi. 
hii ante tempus ubicunque erat bestia erant et quocunque ibant non 
discedebant ab ea et turres lignese super eos firmse protegentes super 
singulas bestias precincti super eas macbinse et super singulas viri 
virtutis XXXII. qui pugnabantdesuper intus^- ejus. Et appropinquavit 
judas et exercitus ejus in prelium. Et ceciderunt de exercitu regis 
sexcenti viri. 

Ee. II\ V. i\ 

Et vidit Eleazar filius abaron unam de bestis loricatam loricis regis 
et erat supererdinens ceteris bestias/^ et visum 

[Second leaf.] 

iniquitatis et divide linguas eormn quoniam vidi iniquitatem et contradictionem 
adversus sanctam civitatem tuam Jerusalem, muro tuo inexpugnabili circumcinge 
nos, Domine Deus noster. V. Qui regis Israel intende, qui dediicis velut ovem 

" Added by another hand. ^- Sic. ^^ Sic. 

Dr. Ingram — On Medieval Moralized Tales. 143 

Joseph, muro. R. Angusfia^'* mihi sunt imdique et quid eligam ignore melius est 
mihi incidere in mauus homiuum quam derelinquere legem Dei mei. V. Si enim 
hoc egero mors mihi est, si autem non egero non effugiam manus vestras. melius. 
R. Nunquid scis quare venerim ad te nunc revertar ut preliar^* adversus principem 
Persarum contradicentem tuis precibus et mese legationi. verum tamen Michael 
archangelus princeps vester hoc stat pro filiis populi tui. V. Nunc ergo egressus 
sum utdoceremte. tunc animadverte sermonem, et intellige visionem. verum tamen. 
R. A facie f uroris tui Deus conturbata est omnis terrse,^* sed tu Domine misericordiae, 
et ne facias consummationem. V. Converte nos deus salutaris noster et averte iram 
tuam a nobis, et ne. R. Fluctus tui super me transierunt ego dixi expulsus sum 
ab oculis tuis putas^^ videbo templum sanctum tuum. V. Abisus vallavit me et 
pelagus cooperuit caput meum. et ego. R. Indicabo tibi homo quid sit bonum 
aut quid Dominus requirat a te facere judicium et justiciam et soUicitum ambulare 
cum dec vestro. V. Oratio. 

trici populo pleno peccatis misericordiae domine deus. V. Esto placabilis super 
nequitiam populi tui. miserere. R. Civitatem istam tu circumda, Domine. An- 
geli tui custodiant muros ejus exaudi populum tuum cum misericordia. V. Muro 
tuo iuexpugnabili circumcinge nos Domine. exaudi. R. Qui celorum contines 
thronos et abisos intueris Domine rex regum terram palmo concludis. exaudi nos in 
gemitibus nostris. V. Non enim in justificationibus nostris et^^ prosternimus preces 
ante faciem tuam sed in miserationibus tuis multis. exaudi. 

Pk. II. L. I. 

Et vidi quasi speciem electri velut aspectum ignis intrinsecus 
ejus per circuitum a lumbis ejus et desuper. Et a luinbis ejus usque 
dorsum vidi quasi speciem ignis splendentis in circuitu velut aspectum 
arcus cum fuerit in nube in die pluvise. Hie erat aspectus splendoris 
per girum, et hec visio similitudinis gloria Domini. Et vidi et cecidi 
in faciem meam et audivi vocem loquentis. Et dixit ad me. 

Et ingressus est in me spiritus postquam locutus est mihi. Et 
statuit me supra pedes meos et audivi loquentem ad me et dicentem 
Filii" hominis. mitto ego te ad filios Israel ad gentes appostatrices quae 
recesserunt a me. patres eorum prevaricati sunt pactum meum usque 
ad diem banc. Et filii dura facie et indomabili corde sunt ad quos ego 
mitto te. et dices ad eos. Haec dicit dominus Deus. Si forte vel 
ipsi audiant et si forte quiescant quoniam domus exasperans est, et 
sciant quia propheta fuerit in medio eorum. 

L. IIP. 

Tu ergo filii hominis ne timeas eos. neque sermones eorum metuas. 
quoniam increduli et subversores sunt tecum et cum scorpionibus 
habitas. Verba eorum ne timeas. et vultus eorum ne formides, quia 
domus exasperans est. loqueris ergo verba mea ad eos. si forte 
audiant et quiescant quoniam irritatores sunt. Tu autem filii homi- 

j nis audi quaecunque loquar ad te, et noli esse exasperans sicut domus 

, exasperatrix est. aperi 

Sic. '° Sic. ^^ Sic. ^"^ Sic passim. 

144 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

L. r. 

ad me In qua erat involiitus liber et expandit ilium coram me. qui erat 
scriptus intus et foris et scripta erant in eo lamentationes et carmen 
et ve. Et dixit ad me Filii hominis quodcunque inveneris comede. 
Comede volumen istud et vadens loquere ad filios Israel, et aperui os 
meum et cibavit me volumine illo et dixit ad me Filii hominis venter 
tuus comedet et viscera tua replebuntur volumine isto quod ego do 
tibi. Et comedi illud et factum est in ore meo sicut mel dulce. 

L. 11. 

Et dixit ad me. Eilii hominis vade ad domum Israel et loqueris verba 
mea ad eos. Non enim ad populum profundi sermonis et ignotae 
linguae tu miteris^® ad domum Israel, neque ad populos multos profun- 
di sermonis et ignotse lingua quorum non possis audire sermones et si 
ad illos metteris'" ipsi audirent te. Domus autem Israel nolunt audire 
te quia nolunt audire me. 

Lectio III. 

Omnis quippe domus Israel attrita fronte est et duro corde. Ecce 
dedi faciem tuam valentiorem faciebus eorum. et frontem tuam duri- 

[At the close of Mr. Wright's preface to his collection of Latin 
stories, of which I have spoken above, he says : — "■ I ought, perhaps, 
to observe that I have reprinted in this collection several Latin stories 
from the AUdeutsche Blatter, which were communicated to that work 
by Mr. Thoms, from a ms. of the thirteenth century then in his posses- 
sion, but now transferred to the British Museum." I have never seen 
the work here referred to ; but I have discovered, since the present 
Paper was printed, that several of the stories which Mr. Wright has 
taken from it are almost literally the same with tales in the Speculum 
Laicorum. Thus the story "De uxore gulosa" at p. 35 of Mr. Wright's 
book, that entitled " De ebrio qui vendidit animam suam," at p. 76, 
and that given in Mr. Wright's Note on story xxv., p. 220, are in the 
Speculum. Two others which I have printed at length from the Specu- 
lum are among Mr. Wright's extracts from the AUdeutsche Blatter, 
namely tales vii. and ix. in Appendix A to the present Paper. The 
latter I have given for its intrinsic interest, and also because curiously, 
whilst it appears in the Derry copy of the Speculum, it is not in the 
Dublin copy. The former I have reproduced on account of the mention 
of Dyvelin, a name which Mr. Wright had conjecturally substituted 
for Wyvelin, which he found in the AUdeutsche Blatter; both the 
Derry and Dublin mss. confirm his correction. It is possible that the 
other five stories which Mr. Wright has taken from the AUdeutsche 
Blatter may also be in the Speculum ; this I have not yet ascertained. 

Is the MS. from which these tales were transcribed by Mr. Thoms a 
third copy of the Speculum Laicorum, or does it only contain some 
stories from the Specidum ? This is matter for further inquiry. — J.K.I.] 

18 Sic. 19 Sic. 

Dr. Ingram — On the " De Iniitatione Christi.''^ 145 

XXYIII. — On the Eakliest English TEANSLiTiON or the '* De 
Imitatione Chkisti." By John K. Ingram, LL.D., F.T.C.D. 

[fiead 22rLd May, 1882.] 

The treatise De Imitcdione Christi has, beyond any other book that 
can be named, taken possession of the heart of Christendom. It has 
ranked, says De Quincey, "next to the Bible in European publicity 
and currency." "No book," says Milman, "has been so often re- 
printed ; no book has been so often translated, or into so many 
languages." " The number of editions and different translations 
which have come to my knowledge," said Backer in 1864, " is about 
2900, and certainly this number is much below the reality." And not 
merely has the book met with this extraordinary popular acceptance, 
but many men of high eminence have warmly expressed their appre- 
ciation of it — men, too, representing various schools of thought, some 
of them not accepting the dogmatic opinions of the author — Leibnitz, 
Dr. Johnson, Eontenelle, Wesley, Comte. 

For those who know and love this golden book, everything which 
throws light on the history of its diifusion through Europe will have 
a certain value. Attention, too, has been of late specially recalled to 
the whole subject by the remarkable researches of Hirsche, by the 
fac-simile of the autograph of 1441 edited by Ruelens, and by the 
writings of Mr. Kettle well on the authorship of the Imitation and on 
the biography of Thomas a Kempis. I think 1 may, therefore, be- 
speak some degree of interest for the contribution I have now to make 
to our knowledge of the English versions of the work. 

The earliest printed English translation of the De Imitcdione is 
that by Atkynson. Its title is as follows : — 

A full devoute and gostely treatyse of ye Imitacyon and Fol- 
owynge ye blessed Lyfe of our most mercifull Saviour Cryst. Com- 
pyled in Laten by the right worshypfull doctor master Johnn 
Gerson : and translate into Englissh the yere of our lorde m.d.ii. by 
Mayster Wyllyam Atkynson, Doctor of Divynyte ; at ye speciall 
request and commandement of ye full excellent pryncesse Margarete, 
Moder to our Soverayne Lorde Kynge Henry the VII., and countesse 
of Eychemount and Derby, m.ccccc.ii. 

Atkynson translated only the first three books of the Be Imitatione, 
The fourth was translated_ by Margaret herself from the French, in 
1504, and her version of that book was printed, along with Atkynson's 
of the three preceding ones, by Wynkyn de Worde. The volume is a 
very rare one ; there are two copies of it in the British Museum. 

But this, though the earliest printed, is not the earliest English 
version of the work. An unpublished one exists among the MSS. in 
the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, which I regard as of very 
great interest; and it is of this that I am about to give an account. 


146 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Acadenuj. 

When I first looked into the MS., I thought it probable that it was 
a copy of Atkynson's translation, which I had never seen ; but 
Dibdin, in the notes to his version of the Imitatio, gives some extracts 
from Atkynson, and, on comparing them with the MS., I found the 
renderings quite different. My attention was then caught by some of 
the old words and forms used in the MS., and so I was led to enter 
on a thorough examination of it. At least one other copy of this 
early translation is, as we shall see, in existence ; but no account of 
it has, so far as I know, ever been given, and I cannot but express 
my surprise that it has been so entirely overlooked. One reason for 
this, so far as the Trinity College copy is concerned, may have been 
that it has been, through ignorance or carelessness, erroneously 
lettered Musica Cell on the cover. This is seen at once by anyone 
accustomed to ancient writing, who examines the first page of the MS., 
to be a mistake for Musica Ecclesiastica, one of the names by which 
the Imitatio was designated, but which, from its comparative rarity, 
may have misled persons who looked into the volume as to its identity, 
and suggested the idea that it was a version of one or more of the 
other treatises of Thomas a Kempis. 

Neither Dr. Lyon nor Mr. Monck Mason seems to have been aware, 
in compiling their respective Catalogues of the Dublin MSS., that this 
book was the same with thel7iitation} Mason, after giving the title, 
" Musica Ecclesiastica, written by Thomas a Kempis," and the names 
of the three parts, adds this note: — "The following authority for 
this being the work of the above-named writer occurs in the margin — 
' I do hear that this booke was made by one Thomas a Kempist; and 
lett a man looke in any chapter of the said booke, and he shall find 
something suitable to his condicion ' ; the date of the handwriting of 
this and of other notes, which are scribbled in the margin of the 
book, is probably about the year 1600." Mason could scarcely be of 
opinion that such a note was any authority towards deciding the vexed 
question as to the authorship of the Imitatioti ; though in the case of 
a different work it would be evidence that it was attributed to the 
same author to whom the Imitation has been generally ascribed. 
This title of Musica Ecclesiastica is given to the Imitatio in several 
MSS. of the original, which are found in English libraries, and 
Mr. Kettlewell has t^aid (page 493 of his book on the authorship of 
the Imitatio') that the title appears to be peculiar to the E nglish copies. 
But this does not seem to be proved. Indeed, on page 91, Mr. 
Kettlewell cites the statement that " Gabriel Naudaeus and several 
other learned men famed for their knowledge of ancient MSS. did de- 
clare that" the work "was, in «//the most ancient copies, entitled De 
Musica Ecclesiastica.'''' Mr. Euelens, the editor of the fac-simile of the 

1 Mr. J. T. Gilbert, in his list of the MSS. of Trinity CoUege, describes the 
volume simply as " Works ascribed to Thomas a Kempis." — [Eighth Report of the 
Eoyal Commission on Historical Monuments, p. 583.) 

Dr. Ingram — On the ^' De Imitatione Christi.^' 147 

MS. of 1441, seems to think it matter of wonder that that title should 
occur in one copy which has come under his notice. He says : " The 
Brussels Library possesses a Manuscript of the Imitation, dating from 
the fifteenth century (No. 15,138), of which the title is as follows — 
* Hie est libellus qui vocatur Musica Ecclesiastica.' These expressions 
seemed so strange that they have been thought to be an error or a 
freak of fancy on the part of the scribe." But, as we have seen, a good 
many MSS. have this title. It is certainly a curious one, and the 
only explanation of it yet offered is that supplied by Hirsche, who 
makes it refer to the rhythmic character which marks a Kempis' 
style, and which he himself indicated by a sort of quasi-musical nota- 
tion, a peculiarity on which Hirsche founds his argument to show that 
the Imitation was his work, and not that of Gerso^ or Grersi9?i, or any 
of the other candidates for its authorship. 

As to the external history of the volume which I am about to 
describe, and which, by permission of the Board of Trinity College, I 
am enabled to exhibit to the Academy, but little can be said. It is 
numbered F. 5. 8., and is placed among the MSS. presented to the 
College by Stearne, Bishop of Clogher. Before it was included in the 
Stearne collection, it had belonged to John Madden, President of the 
Irish College of Physicians.- On the title-page are written the words: 
"Por Mr. Hen: Dodwell, at Mr. Tooke's, in St. Paul's Churchyard, 
Bookseller." This is, doubtless, the well-known Henry Dodwell, 
who was elected a Pellow of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1662, 
resigned his Fellowship in 1666, and afterwards became Camden 
Professor of History at Oxford. Several names are written in 
different parts of the book, the most frequently recurring being that 
of Turney. Thus we have in several places " Emor Turney " ; 
"William Turney, his book, 1655"; "Will. Turney, his book, God 
give him grace"; " William Turney, of Seabrooke, in the county of 

Bucks, . . . 1655"; " Barnard Turney, . . . in the parish of 

in the county of Bedford." The volume must, shortly before Dodwell 
acquired it, have been in the possession of this Turney family. 

The translation gives only the first three Parts of the Imitation. 
It is perfect, with the exception of two places — one leaf (the volume 
is of vellum) has been cut out, which contained portions of chapters 
19 and 20 of the third Part, and half of another leaf, which contained 
portions of chapters 22 and 23 of the same Part. 

On the first page is the rubric — "Here begyneth \q tretise called 
Musica Eccli'=\" This is followed by the contents of Part I.^ At the 
end of the first Part is written : '■'■ Here endij' >e first partie of 
Musica Ecclesiastica. And now folowen >e Chapitres of the ii^ partie." 

2 See Catalogi Librorum Manuscriptorum Anglice et Hihern'KB (known as 
" Barnard's Catalogue "), vol. ii., part 2, p. 59, No. 1662. 

^ Chapter 25 of Bk. I., though, in the MS., is not mentioned in the Table of 

148 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

At the beginning of Part ii. : "Here begynneth of j^e Amonicions 
drawyng gretly inwarde " ; and at the end of it: "Here endi]' ]>e 
Amonicions drawyng inwarde. And here folowen the Chapitres of J'e 
J'irde boke J'at is of inwarde consolacyon." And at the end of 
Part iii. : " Here endi> J'e boke of Inwarde Consolacyoun. Deo 

Mr. Kettlewell gives, at page 94 of his work, an extract from the 
printed Catalogue of MSS. in the University Library, Cambridge, 
which, by the quotations it supplies of the opening and closing sen- 
tences, enables us to see that a MS. in that library contains the same 
translation of the Imitation as that in the Dublin volume.* But the 
Cambridge copy is much more seriously mutilated — wanting, as it 
does, eighteen leaves. It is surprising that Mr. Kettlewell, finding 
this entry in the Cambridge Catalogue, was not moved to make an 
examination of such an interesting item in the bibliography of the 
Imitation. He appears, however, to have taken no further notice of 
it. On looking into the Cambridge Catalogue, we find a note, omitted 
by Mr. Kettlewell, attributing to the MS. the date of " about 1400." 
If this were really its date, the controversy as to the authorship of 
the Imitation would be at an end, so far at least as the claim of 
Thomas a Kempis is concerned, for he was not born before 1379 or 
1380. If the year 1400 is wrongly given by inadvertence, 1500 

* Tlie following is the whole of the entry in the Cambridge Catalogue : — 

"1411. Gg. 1. 16. 

" A quarto, on vellum, containing ff. 171, with 20 lines in each page. There 
are catchwords after every 8th leaf, and a later hand has paged the MS. thi'ough- 
out. Date, about 1400. 

"An English Translation of the first three books of the treatise De 
Imitatione Christi. 

"A leaf is lost between fE. 62 and 63 ; 68 and 69 ; and 16 between £F. 128 and 
129, containiug B. iii. ch. 26-35. 

"The initial rubrick in f. 1 is — 

" Here bigynneth the tretes called Musica Ecclesiastica. . . . 

" B. i. begins (f. 1 a)— 

"... Oure lorde saith he that f oloweth me goith not in darkenesse. . . . 

"B. 3. ends (f. 171 ^i)— 

" Defende and kepe the soul of J^i litel servante amonge so many periles of Jjis 
corruptible lyue and thi grace going with dresse him by the wey of pees to the 
cuntrey of everlastynge clerenes. Amen. Amen. Amen. 

" Here ende the boke of inwarde consolacion. 

' ' The translation difEers considerably from that printed by Wynkyn de 

In the Dublin copy the word dresse in the final sentence appears to have been 
altered by a later hand to directe. A waiter quoted by Mr. Kettlewell, at p. 93 of 
his "Authorship of the Be Imitatione,^'' says : — " At this very time I have in my 
hands an exact transcript of a very old English manuscript, which is mentioned in 
the Appendix to the Catalogue of the Bodleian MSS., containing the first three books 
of that divine treatise (but wanting that which we call the fourth), without any 
name — or so much as ever mentioning it to be a translation — under this very title 
Miislca Ecclesiastica.''^ Is this a third copy of our old version ? 

Dr. Ingram — On the "De Imitatione Christi.'' 149 

being intended, the latter is, in my opinion, much too late a date. I 
think the true date is nearer to 1450 than to 1500. 

Throughout the volume, for th the old letter thorn (>) is used, except 
at the beginning of the iirst word of a sentence, when Th is written. 
The following are some of the forms of the language. Tho is still the 
plural of that; while the nominative thei is used, the accusative is hem ; 
and the corresponding possessive not their, but her. The old southern- 
dialect termination of the plural persons of the present tense of the 
verb, iy, or y]>, is almost everywhere found, en occurring only in a com- 
paratively few places. Thus we nedi\, we owi]> not, \>ese temporall 
goodes hi)i as noon, yings ]iat displesip ]>e, ^ese go]) not, all ]>ings ]>at 
]>ey do]>. But also, here and there, we find the form in en, as men 
dien sodenly. Beside ive hi]>, occur we he, we hen, and we are. The 
verb moive is of frequent occurrence — how shall ]>ou mowe sufre ? ]>at 
]>ou mowe stand sure. Mote is in use — hlessed mote you be (sis 
benedictus). Shal regularly turns to shul in the plural — he shal, but 
ice shul, they shul. There are some strong past participles where 
^ve use weak ones, as golden where we say yielded; and in other 
instances different strong forms from the modern ones, as yoven (from 
yeye) for given. On the other hand, the infinitive has not the ter- 
mination en, nor have the plural persons of the preterite that 

I have observed clear traces of a later hand erasing in several places 
the old termination of the plural person of the verb y'^, and sub- 
stituting n, as if to modernize the style. Thus in the following clauses 
of chapter 25 of Part I. : — " lyven abstractly, are closed boistously, 
laboryn gretly, spekyn litel, waky longe, risy early, praisen longe, 
ofte tymes redyn and kepyn hem in al maner discipline," — every one 
of the active verbs, with the exception of lyven, has been altered, the 
original form of the termination in the MS. having been, I believe, 
without doubt, y\. But if all' the plurals in «•> were to be changed, 
every page would contain corrections, for that form abounds all 
through the volume. 

If we compare the English of the translation generally with that 
of Pecock's Repressor, which is attributed to the year 1449, we shall 
find it, I think, quite as archaic, and certainly more so than that of 
Caxton's Recuyell of the Histories of Troye, which belongs to the year 
1471. Unless there was from local circumstances a slower develop- 
ment of the language in the part of England where the translator 
lived than elsewhere, his work cannot be of later date than 1460. 

However the question of the date of the translation may be 
decided, it is strange that so striking a specimen of the English of the 
fifteenth century should have been altogether neglected. 

I may here mention a few of the old words or quaint renderings 
which I have met in going through the book — ab intra, " wi))in- 
forj^e"; ab extra, " wi>outforj7e " ; ad unionem, "to oonhed " ; 
adunare, "to oone " ; latebrae, " hidels " ; laqueos, " grynnes " ; 
pcnnas siciTt colurabae. " fedres as a colver " ; perversus, " an over- 

150 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

>wart man " ; pravorum securitas, " >e surety of shrewes " ; monachi 
et moniales, " monkes and mynchines " ; vires fortiores prioribus, 
"■ strengjjes more mighty than the raj^er " ; solitas ineptias cordis, 
"the wont japes of >yne heart"; omnem exercitum cseli, "all J^e 
knighthode of heven " ; mens solidata est, " my mind is sadded"; 
mundi hujus susurrationes, " ^e rouning of >is world"; interdum 
percipis, " jou perceivest amonge " ; Testis subtilis, " J'e sotel 
clo]7e " ; tepescimus, "we wax leuke " ; gravitatem conscientise, 
" grucching of conscience"; quod justum est judicabit, " Jiat rightwys 
is, he shall dome"; litteras tradunt, sed tu sensum aperis, " J^ei 
bitake us ]>e letter, but >ou openest j^e witte." 

But not merely is this translation interesting as a specimen of 
fifteenth-century English ; it has also great intrinsic merit. The 
expression is often very pointed and forcible, and the character of the 
style is in general well adapted for the reproduction in English of the 
thought of a Kempis. Hallam justly speaks of the " heart- piercing" 
quality of many of the detached sentences of this writer, and despairs 
of translation being able to give the effect of his " concise and ener- 
getic" expression. Milman similarly remarks on his " short and 
quivering sentences, which go at once to the heart, and lay hold of 
and cling tenaciously to the memory with the compression and com- 
pleteness of proverbs." I do not say that this earliest English version 
is comparable with the original Latin in these respects. But it really 
possesses a high degree of excellence, which is well brought out by 
comparing it with the first printed translation — that of Atkynson. By 
the kindness of Mr. Eccles, of the British Museum, 1 have obtained a 
copy of Atkynson's rendering of the third chapter of Part I. I will 
first read the Latin of a few sentences of this chapter, then the MS. 
translation of them, and lastly Atkynson's version of the same sen- 
tences ; and it will be seen what rhetorical elaboration and expansion 
there is in the latter, and how entirely he spoils the simple earnestness 
and solemnity of the original, whilst these qualities are well pre- 
served in the MS. version. 

" Die mihi, ubi sunt modo omnes illi domini et magistri, quos 
bene novisti, dum adhuc viverent et studiis fiorerent ? Jam eorum 
prsebendas alii possident, et nescio utrum de eis recogitant. In vita 
sua aliquid esse videbantur, et modo de illis tacetur. quam cito 
transit gloria mundi ! Utinam vita eorum scientise ipsorum con- 
cordasset ! Tunc bene studuissent et legissent. Quam multi pereunt 
per vanam scientiam in sseculo, qui parum curant de Dei servitio ! 
Et quia magis eligunt magni esse quam humiles, ideo evanescunt in 
cogitationibus suis." 

This well-known passage the old translator renders as follows : — 
" Telle me now where are tho lordes and maistres that thou 
knewist somtyme, whiles thei lyved and florishid in scoles. Now 
othir men have her prebendes, and I wote not whethir thei ones 
thenke upon hem. In her lyves somewhat thei apperid ; and now of 
hem spekith almost no man. lorde, how sone passith the glory of 

Dr. Ingram — On the " De Imitatione ChriaUr 151 

this world. Wolcle God that her lif had be accordyng to her kunnyng, 
for then had thei wel studied and wel radde. How many ben ther 
that perisshith in this worlde by veyn konnyng, that litel retchith of 
the service of God. And for thei chese rather to be grete than meke, 
therfore thei vanisshe awey in her owne thoughtes." ^ 

Contrast with this strictly literal and really effective translation 
the following, which is Atkynson's rendering, if rendering it deserves 
to be called, being in fact a paraphrase. 

" Where be now all the royal poetes in theyr crafty e conveyed 
poemes, and elegant oratours with theyr oracions garnisshed with 
eligancy : the philosophers with their pregnant reasons and sentences. 
Divers of these nianer of clerkes we have knowen in oure days. Now 
their curiosite is passed and other men occupie theyr prebendes and 
promocions that they poss[ess]ed : If they were here now agayne, I 
suppose they woide never labour so busily for curyosyte in knowlege 
ne temporall promocyons. Nowe they had lever than all this worlde 
that theyr entent had been accordynge to the holy doctryne of Scryp- 
ture ; than the study had been happy. howe many in manor of 
every state perishith in this worlde by vayne glory that more desyre 
to please prynces and prelates and other patrons for a temporall 
promocyon than truly and inwardly to serve God for the promocions 
eternall. These desyre rather by pompe and pryde to be grete in the 
world than by mekeness and charyte to be in favoure with God and 
therefore they vanysshe in theyr thoughtes and desyres as the smoke 
that ever the more it ascendeth the more it fadeth and faileth." 

A great part of this, it will be seen, is not in the original at all. 
The royal poets, the elegant orators, the philosophers with their 
pregnant reasons, the princes, prelates and other patrons, the image 
of the smoke at the end, and much else in the passage, are purely 
Atkynson, and not k Kempis at all ; whilst the MS. translator 
makes it his business here aid everywhere else in all simplicity 
to follow his author, and never thinks of exhibiting his eloquence at 
all. He writes in fact like a man penetrated with the moral and 
religious spirit of the treatise on which he was engaged. 

I had intended to exhibit the features of the old translation in 
greater detail by means of selected specimens : but it will not be 
necessary to occupy the pages of the Proceedings with extracts, since 
it is my purpose, if I am confirmed by the best judges in my impres- 
sion of the interest and value of the version, to print it hereafter in 
full, with such philological illustration and comment as it may seem 
to require, and as I may be able to supply. 

^ I have written th throughout this passage for ]i. 

152 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XXIX. — Sepflci^kal and othee, Peehistoeic Relics, Counties 
Wexeoed and "WicKiow. By G. H. Kinahan, M.E.I.A., &c. 
With Plates YIII. and IX. 

[Eead, 24th April, 1882.] 

Whtce engaged in the geological examination of the country adjacent 
to the mearing of the counties of Wicklow and Wexford, I found that 
in the vicinity of the range in which Croghan-Kinshella is the highest 
peak, sepulchral and more or less allied relics have been observed from 
time to time ; and as these, or at least most of them, do not appear to 
have been recorded, I take the liberty of laying my notes, on those 
with which I am acquainted, before the Members of the Academy. 
Many of them are in the Manor of Wingfield, the property of the 
Right Hon. Yiscount Powerscourt, and to these my attention was 
directed by Myles Byrne, of Wicklow Gap, son of his Lordship's 
gamekeeper ; while Lord Powerscourt courteously gave me permission 
to make any explorations I pleased on his property. In the following 
notes we shall begin with the most eastward of the antiquities now 
referred to. 

Kiilah:[je,la Moat. — This lies south-eastward of Croghan-Kinshella, 
in the County Wicklow. Some years ago a smith of the name of 
Sullivan dug in it for treasure, and is said to have exhumed an urn. 
At the time of the last British Association Meeting in Dublin Pro- 
fessor M 'Kenny Hughes, of Cambridge, cut a trench across it, and 
found, nearly half way up from the base, a horizontal layer of ashes. 

MiTLLAUN Ukn. — Mullaun is situated near the church and well of 
Kilnenor, in the County Wexford, to the south of Croghan-Kinshella. 
Here some years ago three men, while removing a ditch, came on a 
kistvaen, and left it, intending to open it at midnight , but when they 
returned at midnight the howling of the wind in the trees frightened 
them away ; afterwards when it was opened an urn with ashes were 
found. The common belief in all this country is, that if the urn is 
opened at the proper moment, which is generally considered to be 
midnight, it will contain gold; but if at any other time the gold will 
melt into ashes. When this is supposed to have happened, the urn is 
nearly always smashed. Some recommend that before you see the urn 
you should partially raise the top stone, and with your hand slip into 
the urn half a sovereign, as "gold makes gold grow." If you find a 
treasure you must kill a cat, as otherwise it will bring you ill luck. 

As in this case, so also in many others in the area, the kistvaens 
have of late years been found nearly always while levelling old 
ditches. In explanation of this I would suggest the following : when 
the land was first fenced into fields, any kistvaens that might be on 
the line of a fence would not be disturbed, and would remain until 
the ditch was taken away ; while all others would be discovered and 
destroyed during the subsequent tillage of the land. This idea is cor- 

KiNAHAN — On Sepulchral and other Prehistoric Relics. 153 

roborated by finding in the ditches or houses in the vicinity of places 
where kistvaens are discovered flags similar to those used in the con- 
struction of the kistvaens. 

Pallis jMoat is situated near the south-west of the parish of 
Kilnenor. It is large enough to have been a royal residence ; but as 
it is close to the mearing of Tomathone, which may have been named 
from it, it may be a tuaim. It has been dug into several times for 
treasure ; but, as far as I can learn, nothing has been found in it. 

White Heaps. — In the townland of Glenoge, a little north of the 
parish of Kilnenor, and immediately adjoining the mearing of the 
county "Wicklow, there were formerly several heaps of quartz blocks. 
Prom the description given of them they seem to have been laghtas, 
or small earns ; but some years ago they were carted away to be 
crushed by one of the gold companies. The country people report 
that the company got no gold out of them, while the " good people" 
ruined the company for taking the heaps away. The space on which 
the heaps were situated is untilled, and is left for the fairies. 

Clokeoe Raheek. — South-west of Croaghan-Kinshella, in the 
townland of Clonroe Upper, immediately north-east of Clonroe Bridge, 
there was a semicircular enclosure, 130 feet in diameter, the northern 
half of which was destroyed when the county road was made. About 
forty years ago the occupier of the land wanted to square liis field, 
and supposing the semicircle to be part of one of " Erownrigg's old 
manor folds," as they are called from a tenant that once held nearly 
all the manor of Wingfield, he employed a man named John Eogan 
to level it, and in the east side he found a kistvaen, with an urn in it. 
This Eogan buried, and he does not now Kke to show the exact spot. 
Some kistvaens were said to have been found inside the same circle, but 
Eogan does not believe this. Many "Danes' pipes" were found in 
the enclosure. 

Baxltthomas. — About the same time, or a little after, the same John 
Eogan was quarrying stones for drains at the south-west end of the 
townland of Ballythomas, and about 400 yards north-east of Clonroe 
cross-roads there were two small circular heaps, one of small stones, 
and the other of clay and stones : in the latter he found a kistvaen and 
urn ; the latter he buried, but on account of the place having since been 
planted, he cannot show the exact spot where he buried it. In the 
tillage at Clonroe cross-roads " Danes' pipes " have been found. 

AxNAGH Centee. — About two miles south of Clonroe cross-roads, 
Byrne, Lord Powerscourt's gamekeeper, was levelling an old fort 
grown over with hops, this neighbourhood formerly being famous for 
beer, and in the fosse to the south-east he found a wooden box, about 
seven inches square and four inches high, full of some fine mould partly 
like ashes. The box " fell into bruss " when he took it out. He also 
found a great many " Danes' pipes " in this raheen. 

Baeeacueeagh lies about two miles south-east of Clonroe cross-roads, 
and an urn is said to have been found in it by a man of the name of 

K. I. A. PHOC, SEK. 11., VOL. II. POL. LIT. A^D ANT/C-'- il' 

154 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

AjN'xagh: Middle. — About two miles S.S.W. of Clonroe cross-roads 
a man of the name of Harris found an urn in a kistvaen here, about 
thirty years ago. "W^hen he took out the urn, and let it dry, it fell 
into small pieces. There ^vas a raheen from SO to 100 yards to the 
eastward of it. 

GiA^'i's Ghave. — In the Townland of Annagh Long, immediately 
south of Clonroe, "Wicklow Gap, between the old and the new lines of 
road, there was a heap of "field stones." This was removed to fence 
the ground, and under it was found a double chamber like those 
commonly called "Giants' graves." This was explored, but nothing 
except turf ashes found in it. 

Ballteoet. — To the north of "\^icklow Gap, and a little north-west 
of Eallyrory House, a kistvaen and ashes were found. South of the 
house, in the bog, there are the remains of a raheen, and east of it 
lumps of bog butter and a morticed oak frame were dug up in cutting 
the turf. 

Balltxahajena. — Close to the north mearing of this townland, due 
north of the " hurling green," a kistvaen and urn were found in the 
levelling of an old ditch. The " hurling green" is a perfectly level shelf 
of considerable area, about half way up the hill to the west of "Wicklow 
Gap. Here, within the recollection of the grandfathers of the present 
people, a patron and hurliug-matches were annually held, the dancing- 
green being near a spring called "Feu" {quere a corruption of 
fuaran, a cold spring). The people of the vicinity have a tradition 
that it was on this green that the famous hurling-match between the 
people of Wexford and Carlow was played, at which the former 
got the soubriquet of " yellow bellies," from the colour of the scarves 
they wore round their waists. A second urn is said to have been 
found in this townland. to the westward, near the old village ; but 
whereabouts I could not learn. 

Ejxcashel. — To the north-east of the last, close to the east mearing 
of Barnadown, is the ancient burying-place of Kilcashel, immediately 
south of which there was a cam, the stones of which were carted 
away by Mr. Dowse, of Barnadown, between twenty-five and thirty 
years ago, to be used in making di-ains. Of the earn there now only 
remains a portion of a circle of rude standing stones. The chiirch 
also is nearly all gone ; but a portion of the cashel round it is in part 
perfect. A kistvaen, with an urn. were found near the west of the 

LoGGAJf Moat. — "Wexford, Sheet 2. This is situated about half a mile 
S.S.W. of Kilcashel. Adjoining and south of the moat is an irregular 
triangular level tract (locally called " the table of the moat" a, fig. 1, 
Plate YIIL), which within the last thirty years was surrounded by a 
fosse, which has been levelled by the occupiers of the land. "VVTien level- 
ling this fosse several kistvaens with urns were found (f), Avhile a very 
handsome urn was found in a kistvaen [d) in the gravel ridge, about 180 
yards south-east of the moat. This urn was stronger than most of them, 
and was brought home by the occupier of the laud, a man of the uame of 

XiNAHAN — On Sepulchral and other Prehistoric Relics. 155 

Kelly, herd of Mr. Brownriggs, of "Wingfield, and for years was used 
as a domestic utensil : he went to America, and what afterwards 
became of the urn no one can tell, The others are all said to have 
been broken up, as they contained "nothing but dirty ashes"; but 
little bits of them can be picked up in the ditches. About 100 yards 
south-west of the moat (e), some kistvaens containing ashes, but no 
urns, were found ; and on the gravel ridge, about 800 or 900 yards 
west of the moat (/), a number of similar kistvaens were discovered 
while tilling the land. Immediately south-west of the moat a fence 
made round this side of it to separate it from the adjoining land passed 
through a kitchen midden locally called a " sloplough" {h), and a 
few days after it was made there was found on the ditch a gold ring, 
with an inscription that " none of the clergy in the county, or any 
other learned man, could read." This ring is said to have been sold 
by the finder in Carnew. 

This moat may have been a royal rath, the chiefs being buried in 
its eastern fosse ; while the graves of the other members of the septs 
may be represented by the kistvaens without urns. The chief graves 
here and at Clonroe appear to have been at the south-east of the 

CtJMMER Feahtha. — To the south-west of Loggan, on the north 
and south slopes of the mountain ridge, are Cummer and Cummerduff, 
the village being in the former. Adjoining the village is the " Druids' 
Well " — this name, however, seems to be quite modern ; and im- 
mediately north-west of the well is a structure made up of two circles 
of standing stones (plan and section, figs. 2 and 3, Plate VIII.), one being 
nine feet and the other fourteen feet in diameter. From an exploration 
it would appear that the stones of both circles had originally been set 
up on the surface of the ground, those in the outer circle sloping out- 
wards, and having been under-pinned, to keep them from falling ; 
while those in the inner circle were wedged, or propped up straight. 
The inner stones were higher than the outer, a narrow terrace being 
formed between the two. The stuff in the surrounding mound had 
been brought to the place. 

Between the circles to the north-east and south-west the spaces 
were filled with wood ashes and roasted sandstone shingle. Ranging 
across the structure in a north and south line, a little west of the 
centre, were found three pits, a, b, and c. a was under the inner 
circle; it was one and a-half feet in diameter, and two and a-half feet 
deep, h was immediately west of the centre, being one and a-half 
feet in diameter and depth ; while c was just inside the inner circle, 
and was one and a-half feet in diameter, and three and a-half feet 
deep. Besides these, immediately north-west of c, was the pit d, 
three feet in diameter, but only one foot deep. These pits were filled 
in with clay mixed with ashes and a few pieces of burnt stone. At 
the bottom of a there was a large, uneven, but roundish " firestone " 
(sandstone) (d). 

Over these pits, at a depth of three feet below the surface, inside 

156 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

the inner circle, was a thin floor of ashes, and margining it, or lining 
the inside circle, were " firestones," in places very evenly placed, 
like a pavement. Evidently fires had been lit from time to time 
inside the inner circle, while the ashes were thrown out to the two 
sides (A and B, fig. 3). No implements or the like were found, except 
at the top of the ashes a piece of a glass bottle and a stone disc, which 
had apparently been used as a quoit. Both these had a modern look, 
and may have been of the time of the patrons, which were held here 
up to about the year 1798. 

Thirty-three yards south of the circles are irregular low heaps of 
ashes mixed with roasted sandstone shingle. 

Twenty yards north-west of the circles, in or about the year 1877, 
James Bains, of Cummer, when building a fence, had occasion to raise 
a flag at the surface of the ground, which he found to cover a kist- 
vaen, that appeared to be full of ashy clay ; but on driving down his 
spade into it he broke an urn that was in the centre of it. This urn 
appears, from the fragments, to have been about twelve inches in 
diameter at the inside of its mouth, and about nine inches high. It 
was of a different shape and differently ornamented from any of the 
urns in the Academy collection, its greatest peculiarity being the flat 
lip, about two inches wide, around the mouth. 

James Bains states that between thirty and forty years ago, while 
removing a fence to the westward of the circles, he also found, in a 
row, three kistvaens, with urns in them. In the two outer kistvaens 
there were urns somewhat like that just described; but in the middle 
one, inside a similar large urn, was a small one. The latter he had 
in his possession till a few years ago, when it was stolen from 

Running nearly due noi'th from Cummer village, for 270 yards, is 
a wide rocky passage, locally called the "Causey." At the north 
end of this, in the angle formed by the junction of two county roads, 
are some standing stones. These were formerly much more numerous, 
forming circles and other figures, paths, &c., but most of them have 
been carried away recently, especially during the building of the 
Monaseed church in the neighbourhood. These stones were locally 
called " The Loads," the people having a story that when the castle of 
Ferns was being built carts of stones going to it broke down here. 
This, however, seems to be a modern invention, as the stones were 
evidently placed systematically and by design. A little further north, 
in Cummerduff, south of a spring, are stones that appear to be the 
ruins of a small cromleac. 

Different explorations were made about the village of Cummer, 
but without finding a new kistvaen, and it seems probable that all, 
except those in the fences, were removed long since, while tilling the 
land or building the houses, more especially as many of the stones in 
the walls of the houses are like the flags used in the kistvaen last 
discovered. Evidently Cummer was in old times a place of note, a 
feartha being situated near the south spring: while on the ridge. 

KiNAHAN — On Sepulchral and other Prehistoric Relics. 157 

from which there are extensive views, there were diflferent megalithic 
structures, probably for the celebration of some sort of Pagan 
gathering or festival. At a later period the Pagan festival was suc- 
ceeded by a Christian one, a patron having been held here for years, 
even up to the memory of the fathers of those now living. It appears 
remarkable that no implements nor ornaments, except the disc and 
glass above mentioned, were found during the exploration, although 
the whole of the ash heaps at the circles were carefully turned over ; 
nor, as far as we could learn, have they at any time been found. 
Who erected the circles at the south well : were they Pagans or 
Christians ? And what were the fires for ? No bone charcoal was 
observed, although carefully looked for. 

CuMMERDUFF, Or the Quaker's Hollow. — "Wexford, Sheet 2. On 
the north-east slope of this coom, or the most sunny side of it, are the 
remains of various structures, now very much tossed about, thus 
making their original use hard to be determined. One of the most 
perfect of these is in part like the circles at Cummer village. It is a 
circular structure 16 feet in diameter, having in the centre a circular 
pit 6 feet in diameter, and running west from the pit a passage 
15 inches wide, and 20-5 feet long (fig. 4, Plate VIII.) This is called 
the "Quaker's Hut"; but it was evidently never used as a human 
habitation. In appearance it is somewhat like the kilns used for 
drying flax in Ulster at the present day. The pit and the passage are 
margined with stones, and a fire seems to have been lit in the former ; 
but nothing positive could be ascertained from the excavations made. 
Immediately south-west of this structure is a north and south enclo- 
sure, 16 yards wide, and on its east side 29 yards long, and on the 
west side 23 yards, the south end being an irregular curve ; at the 
middle of this, but a little to the east, is the remains of an east and 
west habitation, 8 yards by 5 yards. About 100 yards south-west of 
the " Quaker's Hut" is a second north and south enclosure, having 
to the west a straight boundary 26 yards long, its full width being 
11 yards, the east wall being slightly curved, making the whole space 
enclosed of a regular D shape. Eunning due east from the west end 
of this enclosure was a " causey," or paved path, 35 yards long, and 
about 2 yards wide. Near these there seem to have been also other 
structures, but the remains are now so much disturbed, that it would 
be rash to try and restore their original forms and plans. As these 
structures are so near those previously described, they ought to be 
mentioned ; but I would be inclined to suspect that all are more or 
less modern, and of quite a recent date compared with those at 
Cummer village. 

CoNNAGH Hill Circles. — Eastward of Cummer, near the base of 
the south slope of Connagh Hill, are three small circles, like those 
previously mentioned in Ballythomas, forming an equilateral triangle. 
They are all about twelve feet in diameter, and look like the sites of 
cloghans. A little south of these there is a large flat block of hornblende 
rock, having on its surface eight cups (fig. 7, Plate IX.) Five of 

158 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

these form a north and south cross ; while an oval cup lies a little to the 
north-east of it, and two cups to the south-east of the stones. I think 
it remarkable finding cups in such a hard stone, as in the various 
places I have visited such hard stones are left uninscribed. A great 
treasure is said to be concealed hereabouts. Various persons have 
visited it at night to dig. A member of the last exploring party told 
me, that after they had commenced their work they found that an 
awful-looking bull was superintending them, and immediately they 
all ran away. 

It may be of importance to mention that tradition states that this 
neighbourhood was visited by St. Patrick, who founded an ecclesi- 
astical settlement in the present townland of Coolafancy, a little inside 
the bounds of the county Wicklow. The ancient church, as also the 
parish, is called Crosspatrick. A few miles to the north-east of the 
church, and also just inside the mearing, is Toberpatrick, a well 
dedicated to this saint. A visit of St. Patrick to the place may 
possibly imply that the locality was a noted one in Pagan times. 

Other structures, but more or less removed from the Croaghan 
Kinshella range, which may be recorded, are : — 

MoTYBOWER, eastward of Carnew, a little inside the county of 
"Wexford. — Immediately north of the county road, to the west of the 
townland, there is a circular structure, a little higher than the level 
of the field, which might be either the site of a ruth or of a moat. 
Between twenty-five and thirty years ago a chamber was discovered 
in it, which is said to have had steps leading down to it, and to have 
had a stone table in the centre : the entrance to the chamber is now 
closed up, and it could not be explored. 

Umrtgar Moats. — These lie respectively a little south and south- 
west of Carnew, in the townland of Umrygar, county Wicklow. That 
to the westward is very perfect, while that to the east is nearly all 
carried away, the gravel of which it was formed having been used for 
road metal. 

Garry Hasten Moat. — "Wexford, Sheet 4. The site of this moat 
is on the banks of the Derry river, close to Abbeystown ford, and 
nearly a mile north-east of Clonegal, The moat has now been all 
carried away, the only remaining trace of it being a slight circular 
rise in the field. An abbey formerly existed immediately to the east 
of it ; but the new road now obliterates the last trace of it. Nothing 
further about the moat or abbey appears to be known in the neigh- 

Stranakelly Moat. — About two and a-half miles west of Tinna- 
hely, near the north mearing of the townland of Stranakelly, "Wicklow, 
Sheet 43, there is about one-half of a moat now remaining ; it is 
being gradually carted away to spread on the neighbouring boggy 
land. The outside portion for about a foot in depth is ashy, having 
burnt stones in it ; but we could not learn if any urns or other 
sepulchral relics had been found in connexion with it, although in the 
tillage around it we picked up what appeared to be small fragments of 

KiNAHAN — On Sepulchral and other Prehidoric Relics. 159 

an urn. This moat is situated a little north-west of an ancient ruin 
and graveyard called Temple. These, moats in the vicinity of churches 
appear to suggest that such places were noted in Pagan times, as 
St. Mullen's, county Carlow ; while the following is a list of primi- 
tive churches observed in the vicinity of moats and such like 
structure, from which it may be inferred that the early Christian 
missionaries took possession of Pagan settlements, and utilized them. 
I would suggest that while they lived in the churches, they addressed 
the people from the moats, following the example of their prede- 
cessors, the Brehons. 

Carlow, Sheet 3, a church a little south-east of Rathmore moat. 

„ ,, 3, Templeboy, a little west of a rath. 

,, ,, 4, church (St. Patrick's?), with what appears to be 

the remains of a moat immediately to the north- 
west. This church lies half a mile north of 
Hathvilly moat. 

„ 5j 5j Kilmacart, a little to the north-east of Hackets- 

town, has disappeared, and its exact site is 
unknown ; but it is said to have been near Mill 
moat, which adjoins the mearing of the town- 

,, ,, 8, Killerig, about 300 yards west of a moat. 

,, ,, 10, Clonmore Abbey, 450 yards west of a large moat. 

,, „ 13, Kilmurry, a little south-east of a moat. 

,, „ 13, a church 500 yards north-east of Grallowshill moat. 


The following additional unrecorded urns have been found in the 
county "Wexford : — An urn nearly two feet high, found in the manor 
of Wingfield, near the mearing of Cummerduff and Loggan. Two 
urns, found some years ago in the south-east portion of the fosse of 
Pallis fort ; one is said to have been full of " Danes' pipes," and the 
other of burnt bones : one of them, till very lately, was used as a 
domestic utensil. An urn found near the ford east of Monaseed. Two 
urns found in twin kistvaens under a stone and clay mound, in the 
townland of Ballykale, to the south of Gorey : one of these urns is 
now in the Museum of the Academy. All the urns found in the 
moats and raths were at the south-east side. A similar statement has 
been made by explorers elsewhere. 

160 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


Illustrating Mr. Kinalian' s Paper on Prehistoric Remains in Wexford 
and Wichloiv. 

Plate VIII., Fig. 1. — Map of Loggan moat and feartha. 

a. Table of moat. 

b. Kitchen midden. 

c and d. Kistvaens with urns. 
e and/. Fearthas, kistvaens. 

,, Fig. 2. — Plan of Cummer circles. 

,, Fig. 3. — North and south section of Cummer circles. 

a. Pit, 1-5 feet in diameter, and 2*5 feet deep. 

b. ,, 1'5 ,, ,, 1'5 ,, 
e. ,, rS ,, ,, 3'5 ,, 

d. ,, S ,, ,, 1 foot deep. 

,, Fig. 4. — Plan of Quaker's hut, Cummerduff. 

Plate IX., Fig. 1.— Table-stone, Connagh Hill, "Wexford, Shee 2. 


Proc. R.I.A., Vol. 2, Ser. ii. 

Plate VIII. 



; y 



Proc. R.I. A., Vol 2, Ser. ii. 

W ! 

'Table-stone, Connagh Hill, Wexford. 

Fig-. 2. 

I VJ,/ ^ 



Plan of Labbanasigba, Wicklow. 

Plate IX. 


Proc. R.I.A., Vol. 2, Ser. ii. 

Plate X. 

Fig. I. 

Plan of Structure, Myshall Hill, Carlow. 

Fiff. 2. 


Plan of Accaun Cromleac. 

Proc. R.I. A., Vol. 2, Ser. ii. 

Fig. I. 

SCALE 8 F7;T01 IN: 

Cover !: tones, Accaun Cromleac, showing Cups and Furrows. 

Fig. 2. 


Accaun Croraleac, looking south-south-east. 

KiNAHAN — On MegaUthic Stnietures. 161 

XXX. — Megaiithic Stetjcttires, Counties "Wicklow and Caelow. 
By G. H. KcfAHAN, M.E.I.A., &c. With Plates IX., X., and 

[Eead, 26th June, 1882.] 

The structures to Tvliicli I would draw attention appear to be allied to 
the cnocans of the Aran Islands, Gralway Bay. Those are clay 
mounds, ia some of which have been found one or more chambers, 
built more or less similarly to a cloghan ; while these now to be 
described have the internal chambers constructed of massive flags. 
They are more or less dismantled, the clay covering for the most part, 
and some of the stones having been removed. 

In the townland of Moylisha, "Wicklow, Sheet 42, is the struc- 
ture called Labbanasigha. A little north of it, down the slope of 
the hill, are the remains of a caher, or stone fort, while about a 
mile to the north is the ancient church of Aghowle and the cross of 
St. Finden. 

Labbanasigha, of which figure 2, Plate IX., is the ground-plan, when 
complete, was apparently a " fosleac," or flag house, in an oval mound 
of clay, about 30 feet long and 20 wide, ranging S.S.E. and N.N.'W. 
The internal arrangements consisted of a large chamber 21 feet long, 
5 feet wide, and about 3"5 or 4 feet high. At the north-eastern end of 
the large chamber there is a small parallel one. The flag wall at the 
northward end of both chambers is gone, but most of the other walls 
are perfect. The entrance appears to have been at the southward 
end. The covering flag, a, appears to be in its original position, while 
i may be so also, having been the roof of the entrance, as it is not 
long enough to cross the chamber. The clay mound seems to have 
been originally surrounded by flags sloping outward, a few of which 
still remain. 

In the flat maum or pass between Myshall Hill and Elbrannish 
Hills, close to the south mearing of Myshall townland, Carlo w. Sheet 1 7, 
are the remains of a structure, consisting of a circular mound, with a 
square chamber in the centre of it (fig. 1, Plate X.). The marginal 
circle of the mound was made of flagstones, each about 3 '5 feet long, 
2'5 feet wide, and "5 foot thick, which were placed sloping inwards. 
These have been removed at the south and west. Of the chamber, 
which was 4 feet square, and about 3 to 4 feet high, there remains 
four massive granite slabs, forming the west, south, and east walls, 
with two small standing stones forming an entrance to the north. 
The two stones to the north do not look as ancient as the others, 
and may have been put in their present position when the chamber 
was converted into a sheep shelter, for which it is now used, by 
raising the walls with field stones and with the displaced marginal 

A little over half a mile to the north-west, in the village of 
Myshall, are the ruins of the ancient church of St. Bridget; while 


162 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

less than half a mile to the north-east, surrounding the summit of 
Myshall Hill, is the site of either a liss or caher, 300 feet in diameter. 
Most of the old circular forts in the granite country were cahers — 
that is, had stone walls ; usually they are locally called " round O's " 
and rahs. 

AccAim Ceomieac, CoTj^nr Caelow. 

As the original use of many of the structures classed under the 
general name of cromleac is still ohscure, I may be allowed to call 
attention to the structure in the County Carlow, commonly called the 
'' big stones of Accaun," and marked on the Ordnance Maps as a 
cromleac, because it has peculiarities from which its original use may 
possibly be conjectured. 

The structure is in the townland of Harristown, a little south-east 
of Accaun bridge, and the ancient sites of Accaun church and monas- 
tery. It consists of two covering-stones (A and B, fig. 2, Plate X., 
figs. 1 and 2, Plate XL), the northern, or largest, overlapping the other, 
under both of which is a regular chamber (c) ; while to the east of the 
entrance, which is at the north end, is a covered-in recess, which, for 
want of a better name, may be called an alcove {d). The covering- 
stones slope due south, and the alcove looks due north, but the general 
bearing of the chamber is IS". 20 "W. 

Now, are we to suppose that this structure was intended to be 
either a sepulchre which was to remain exposed on the surface of the 
ground, or a sepulchral chamber buried in a tuaim, the covering earth 
of which has now been removed ? Against such suppositions are the 
following : — The structure is such that, if exposed on the surface of 
the ground, foxes and other animals could have forced an entrance, 
and desecrated the dead ; and if it has been buried in a mound of 
stones or earth, why should all traces of this have been so completely 
removed ? In addition, we must observe that the entrance was evi- 
dently from the north ; but in all the presumably sepulchral chambers 
that I have seen it is from the east or south-east. My suggestions in 
reference to this structure would be, that the covering-stones sloping 
due south, were used for some sort of sacrificial office. A few bundles 
of heather would make the chamber quite air-proof and comfortable, 
as may be seen in the shepherds' or herds' huts at the present day in 
the hills of "West Munster and West Connaught. The alcove was 
evidently for some purpose — it might have been for the priest to sit 
in, or to address the people fi'om, or as a place in which alms or other 
offerings were left. The improbability that the cover-stones were 
solely placed as a roof for the chamber and alcove appears to be dis- 
proved by their position and surface. These stones slope due south, 
and on their surfaces are irregular systems of cups and channels 
(fig. 1 , Plate XI. ). I am well aware that there are many who would say 
that these cups and channels are solely due to weathering, but how this 
could be I cannot understand. The channels are very like some of 
those that are not uncommon on the sloping surfaces of the Carbon- 
iferous limestone rocks, such as the crags of Limerick and Clare ; but 

KiNAHAN — -On Megalithic Structures. 163 

these slabs are of granite, not limestone, and thousands of similar slabs 
of exactly similar granite will be found in this immediate vicinity ; 
also in the neighbouring portions of the county Carlow, and also in 
the counties of Wicklow and Wexford, on the surface of which I have 
not been able to find any cups or channels at all like those on these 
covering-stones. I therefore am forced to believe that the cups and 
furrows were originally cut artificially on these stones, though they 
may have been more or less modified by weathering. If these furrows 
and cups are allowed to have had an artificial origin, they must have 
been made for some special purpose, which seems to me to have been 
in connexion with pagan sacrificial rites ; and as the stones slope due 
south, I would suggest that they may possibly have had some con- 
nexion with sun worship. The conclusions I have arrived at are, that 
the structure was both a sacrificial altar and a habitation, thus 
partaking at the same time of the nature of a normal cromleac, or 
Druidical altar, and of a fosleac, or flag dwelling-place. Figure 2, 
Plate XI., sketch of the cromleac looking S.S.E. 


Illustrating Mr. Kinahanh Paper on Megalithic Structures, Counties 
Wicklow and Carlow. 

Plate IX., Fig. 2.— Plan of Labbanasigha, TVicklow, Sheet 42. 

a and b. Cover-stones. 
Plate X., Fig. 1.— Plan of structure, Myshall Hill, Carlow, Sheet 17. 
,, Fig. 2. — Plan of Accaun Cromleac. 

A and B. Cover-stones. 

e. Chamber. 

d. Alcove on 'the east of the entrance. 

e and/. Standing stones at the sides of the alcove. 

g. Standing stone to the west of the entrance. 
Plate XI., Fig. 1. — Cover-stones, Accaun Cromleac, showing cups and furrows. 

a. Portion of stone that has been split off. 

b. Here there evidently have been fires lit in recent times. 

It is said that some years ago, before the land was 
cleared of the natives, and made into a cattle farm, the 
St. John's Eve or Midsummer fires used to be lit on this 
cover- stone. This portion of the stone is flat, but its 
surface is very irregular, on account of the effects of 
these fires. 

c. A naturally weathered joint line. 

Both cover-stones slope due south ; the north one at 
about an angle of 15°, and the south one at an angle 
of 20°. All the furrows that come down to the edges of 
the stones are continued from the surfaces down the 
sides, which could scarcely be due solely to weathering. 
,, Fig. 2. — Sketch of Accaun Cromleac, looking S.S.E. 
A and B. Cover- stones. 

d. Alcove to the east of entrance, 
c. Chamber. 

e and/. Standing stones forming the alcove. 
g. Standi;.ig stone to the west of entrance. 

164 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XXXI. — Ok the Bell eeoh Loegh Jjeke, t^ the AciDEirr's Meseeii. 
By WiLLLuyi Baelow Smythe, M.A., M.E.I.A. (With Plate XII.) 

[Read, May 22, 1882.] 

LoEGH Jj'EE'B is a fair sheet of water in the County "Westmeath, 
extending about three miles from east to west, and about one mile 
from north to south. There are two wooded islands in the middle, 
which are my property : the larger, above an acre in extent, is called 
Turgesius' Island ; the smaller, about half the size, and covered with 
ivied stones, probably the ruins of a house of retreat connected with 
the monastery of Fore, is called JS'uns' Island. South-west of it lies 
a very small island, called The Castle, containing many stones, now 
forming a blind to watch from for wild ducks, and under one of 
which, last summer, a boy in search of eels came upon the beautiful 
bell which forms the subject of this Paper. Having a companion 
near, with whom he did not wish to share the treasure, he covered it 
up again, and returned alone for the spoil, which he appropriated, 
and after exhibiting it to his neighbours, as I have been told, he 
fortunately sold it to the Academy. 

The site of its discovery is reported by tradition to have been that 
of a castle, to which Turgesius betook himself at night for security, 
passing his day on what is called Turgesius' Fort, a bold bluff about 
a mile and a-half to the west, commanding the modern road from 
Collinstown to CastlepoUard. 

Tradition gives Turgesius the worst possible private character, 
and an end similar to that narrated in some other prehistoric stories, 
viz. that wishing to marry the Christian daughter of O'Melaghlin, 
King of Meath, by whom he was long refused as a heathen, he at 
length terrified them into an arrangement, allowing her and fifteen 
ladies of her suite to meet him and fifteen unarmed attendants upon a 
small island in a small lake in Meath, of which Westmeath was then 
a part ; but her ladies were youths, who slew Turgesius' followers, 
and took himseK prisoner. He was said by some to have been 
drowned in Lough Uair, now Lough TJail (Lough Owel), near Mul- 
lingar ; by others in Lough Annagh. IN'either is many miles distant 
from Lough Lene. 

Sir H. Piers, writing above two centuries ago, describes Lough 
Lene as separated from Fore town by fine rising arable ground, "into 
which, by a narrow and short channel, the lake sends a rivulet, which 
falleth into the bowels of the hill, and issueth on the other side 
thereof, in the town, and turneth an overshaft mill." Sir H. Piers 
tells of the multitude of small trout on the lake side of the stream, 
and of the ' ' vain endeavour of one of his company to catch them in 
his boot, which could only fill with water and his companions with 
laughter." The rivulet, he says, runs on to Lough Glore and to the 

Smythe — On the Bell from Lough Lene. 165 

Inny, and thence to the "Western Sea. Eeturning to Lough Lene, he 
says : ' ' "We come again on as pleasant a water as any in "Westmeath : 
at the east end issueth another considerable stream, falling into the 
river Deel, running to the Boyne, and so to the Eastern Sea. So we 
have one lake which by its two streams parteth the kingdom into two 
great semicircles." 

Fore was a place of great devotion ; it contains the remains of 
three saints' churches, a monastery, and the church of an anchorite. 
St. Pechin was the patron saint of Fore. The translation of an Irish 
sonnet runs thus : — 

' ' To Fore "West let us go, 
That valley lying low, 

And see the riU, 

That, thro' the hill, 

To torn the mill, 
St. Fechin caused to flow." 

It is said that when Tara was cursed by St. Rodanus, the King of 
Southern Hy Mall went to Lough Lene. In the Life of St. Aidan 
we read that he went, upon the entreaty of the parents, to intercede 
for their only son with the King of Meath upon an island in Lough 
Lene, which he had to reach by walking on the water, and that he 
gained his object. It is told of St. Fechin that he went to the castle 
of King Dermot, near Lene, to get him to receive a leper, whom he 
believed to be his Lord, who had come to his monastery. The king 
was the son of Aedh Slaine, who lived in an island called Muir Locha 
Leibhan, where the queen attended the leper's ailments, and got from 
him a staff for a crozier. Lough Lene, close to St. Fechin' s Monas- 
tery of Fore, was then the place of a royal residence. MacCosse calls 
Melaghlin King of Lough Lene, as Irish kings were called Kings of 
Tara. The king probably occupied also the fort afterwards called 
Turgesius', who no doubt subsequently expelled the Milesian king 
from it. The fort is a bold barbaric bulwark, an oval of about 
seventy by fifty yards. St. Fechin died a.d. 664 ; Torquil or Turgesius 
lived about two hundred years later. 

Tills bell may have belonged to St. Fechin in the middle of the 
seventh century, and was possibly transferred to the island called 
jS'uns' Island at a later period. How it reached the stones of the old 
castle's foundations, where it was found, must be purely conjectural ; 
but it was probably removed from JN'uns' Island either for security, or 
as plunder, in the middle ages, by some one who did not survive to 
take it away. Giraldus Cambrensis, writing about a.d. 1200, says 
that portable bells and staves of the saints were held in great reve- 
rence by the people and clergy of Ireland, insomuch that they had 
much greater regard for oaths sworn on these than on the Grospels. 
Anderson, in the fifth of his valuable Lectures on " Scotland in Early 
Christian Times," a work kindly brought under my notice by Sir 
S. Ferguson, tells of a bell found in a cemetery at Birsay, in Orkney, 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

buried in a cist of dry stones, similar to those in which human bones 
were interred there, and so placed, probably for concealment, at a 
period when the IS^orsemen overthrew Christianity there for a time. The 
drawing represents it as somewhat similar in shape to our bell, which, 
I think, may have been buried in the Castle Island of Torquil, as the 
least likely place to be explored. It is a most perfect bell. It has 
the Chi-istian emblem of the Cross faintly, but distinctly, marked 
upon it in outline on two sides. It has also an elegant traceried orna- 
mentation engraved in the Celtic manner, forming a border. Two 
portions of this border wiU be seen represented in the figure on 
Plate XII., which is drawn to a scale of one-third; the ornamentation 
of the border, represented in the annexed wood-cut, is on the side 
opposite to the border seen in the Plate below the Cross ; the orna- 
mentation on the borders of the two sides without the Crosses are the 
same pattern. 

The bells of that early period seem to have been generally quite 
plain, ornamentation being reserved for their cases or shrines. 

The Lough Lene bell is very similar, as respects its size and 
general foim and the design of its line ornamentation, to two other 
ancient bronze bells, viz. that found near the site of the Abbey of 
Bangor, county Down, about fifty years ago, which is now in the 
possession of Captain ll'Cance, Belfast, and that found at Cashel, in 
1849, which is now the property of Lord Dunraven. Illustrations of 
these two bells are given in " Church Bells of Devon," by Eev. 
H. T. Ellacombe, and one of the last mentioned is given in Liie 
"History of Adare Manor," by the Countess Dunraven. Petrie had 
never seen any bells like these. He declared them to be obviously 
contemporaneous, and believed them to be of the seventh century, and 
certainly not later than the eighth. 

It may not be too much to say that these three bells are so 
similar to each other that it seems not unreasonable to believe that 
they were all made at the same place (though cast in three different 
moulds), and perhaps even ornamented by the same hand. 

Petrie' s opinion as to the age of the Bangor and Cashel bells lends 
countenance to the suggestion that I have independently thrown out 
above, that the Lough Lene bell may have belonged to St. Pechin of 
Pore, who flourished in the middle of the seventh century. 

Pi-oc. R.I.A., Vol. 2, Ser. ii. 

Plate XII. 


Ferguson — On the Legend of Dathi. 167 

XXXII. — Ojst the Legend of Dathi. By Sie Samuel Feeguson, 
LL.D., Q,.C., a Vice-President of tlie Academy. 

[Eead, February 13, 1882.] 

The oldest historic writings of the Irish allege that, after the death 
of Nial of the Mne Hostages, who is said to have been slain during a 
predatory expedition into Gaul, about A.n. 405, his nephew and suc- 
cessor, Feradach,^ afterwards called Dathi,^ having followed his uncle's 
example in again invading the Continent of Europe, was killed by 
lightning at the Alps.^ The date of this event is given by the majo- 
rity of Irish chronologists at a.d. 428, being the first year of Leoghaire, 
Dathi's successor in the monarchy. Leoghaire's accession, however, 
is placed by the compiler of the Annals of Boyle at a.d. 426, 

The direction taken by Dathi, further than that he followed in the 
track of Mai, and was killed somewhere " at the Alps," is not directly 
indicated in the older books now known to us. 

Mai is said to have been slain on the banks of the Loire ; and 
hence it has been supposed that Dathi's death took place somewhere 
in France.* An expression, however, in the poem ascribed to Torna 
Eigeas, said to be a cotemporary, which we find incorporated in the 
account of Dathi's expedition, in Lebor na h'Uidhre, taken in con- 
nexion with the then condition of Boman ailairs in the Sub-Alpine 
provinces of the empire, offers a more tangible ground for conjecture. 
The bard, contrasting the then notoriety of the place of Dathi's death 
with the obscurity of his place of burial, refers to his death as having 

1 Keating gives Feradhach as the original name ; on what authority does not 
appear [Sy-Fiachrach, p. 20). 

2 Both Keating and Mac Firbis regard Dathi as an adnomen, referring to his 
agility. Mac Fii-bis states he got the designation " in the East," that is, on the 
Continent. If so, a German or Frankish origin might be suggested. 

^ The old Irish idea of the situation and extent of the Alps may be collected 
from the Geographical Poem of Mac Cossa [Book of Leinster Facs, 136 a). Having 
spoken of Italy [etail], the author says : — 

" SUah Ailp et'ra is Gallia 
Muir in a timchoU a muirn 
Ota libaist co Uburn." 

Where libaist seems written for ligaist (Ligusticum mare), and the meaning appears 

to be — 

" Between it (Italy) and Gallia the Alp mountain, 
[A wall, in a curve its groups ?] 
From Liguria to Liburnia (Carinthia and Croatia) . 

* It may be doubted whether Keating, who states it to have happened w^.eu 
Dathi was ag deanamh congcuisair an bh'' -Fraingc, indicated the France of his own, 
or the Frank-land of Dathi's period. 

168 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

occurred in rig iath,^ i.e. ''in royal land," an expression which, in its 
context, appears to point to some portion of the imperial territory, the 
Caesar being usually designated in Irish compositions of this class ri 
domain, or King of the World. Eoman territory at and on this side of 
the Alps, in Dathi's period, with the exception possibly of a narrow 
line of communication, accessible only by permission of the garrison of 
Lyons, and not likely to have been essayed by such invaders, can 
hardly be said to have existed anywhere from the Mediterranean to 
the valley of the Upper Rhine. Though the consul ^tius still held 
the central and northern parts of Graul, the Goths at that time, with 
Toulouse for their capital, occupied ITarbonne.® The Burgundians 
had extended their kingdom from Dijon to Geneva and the western 
parts of Switzerland.''' The central plain of Switzerland was overrun 
as far as Lake Leman by the Alemanni.^ Helvetia had just undergone 
the second of its ''ruinae" or desolations,^ and possessed nothing to 
tempt the cupidity of an invader. Its chief attraction indeed at this 
time was for Christian hermits and recluses. The passion for ascetic 
seclusion was then at its height in southern Europe. A colony of monks, 
observing the rule of the Egyptian desert, had been led to the islands of 
Lerins,^" off the Ligurian coast, between Toulon and Nice, where our 
own Patrick is supposed just about this time to have spent some years 
in probationary discipline. ^^ From that extremity of the maritime Alps 

^ see 2>ost, p. 173. 

^ Becueil des Hist, de France, vol. i., p. H. 

■^ A.D. 406. 8™ Honorii. Hoc anno Burgundi et Neucthones, Germanise populi, 
facta in Galliam irruptione, Helvetiam occiduam ab Ursa flnmine, Genevan! 
usque, cum provincia Sequana occupant {Sniceri Chron. Helvet. apud Thes. Hist. 
Selvet, p. 11). 

The Province Maxima Sequanorum included Besancon west of the Jura, and 
Neuchatel, Avenne, Basle, Windish, Yverdun, and a port presumably on Lake 
Constance (Burchard Notitia, apud Had. de Diceto M. H. edn., vol. i., p. 6). I am 
unacquainted with Suicher's authority for Geneva. 

8 They had been allowed to settle in the country east of the Jura by Theodosius 
{Vales. I. v., p. 237), and in a.d. 411, when Servius completed his Commentary on 
Virgil, were settled about Lake Leman (Serv. in 4th Georgic). 

3 The first "desolation" had been in a.d. 300: some only of the restorations 
had been effected before the second: — " AUemanni irruptione facta, urbes Helvetice 
diruunt. Victi tamen a Constantino Chloro ad Vindonissam pedem referunt. 
Eestaurantur urbes Helvetise ; Forum Tiberii per Certum ; Constantia per Con- 
stantinum, Virodurum per Aurelium Proculum et Tigurium per Decium urbis 
praefectum sub quo Faslix et Eegula Martyrium passi sunt Tiguri (Suiceri Chron., 
ibid. p. 11). 

^° Dupin, JSccles. Hist, ad init. quinti scec._ 

^^ The islands resorted to by Patrick, and called in his lives by the various 
names Alanenses, Aralenenses, and Tamerenses, which Mac Firbis, apparently 
founding on old Latin authority, puts "in Australi parte Gallorum, iuxta Mare 
Terrenum" {Hy-Fiachrach, 414), are considered with much probability to be 
these Insulas Lerinenses (Todd's St. FatricJc, p. 336, n.). The kind of life 
led there may be collected from the epistle of Eucherius to Honoratus (Dupin, 
Eccl. Writers, 5th Century, London ed., p. 117). He describes Lerins as a sweet 
place, full of fountains, overspread with herbs, abounding with most pleasant 

Fergusojv — On the Legend of Dathi. 169 

the practice of anchoritism appears to have spread into those places 
made desert by the irruptions of the barbarians ; and it will be conve- 
nient here, in reference to subsequent matter, to state that, in Helvetia 
especially, numerous recluses, including persons of noble birth, are 
recorded to have set up their hermitages, some in the vfildernesses of 
the Jura,^^ some in Soleure,^^ and others among the ruins of the 
ancient Lausanum, whence the modern Lausanne takes what may be 
called its second origin. ^^ Ehsetia, however, with Coire, at the head 
of the Upper Ehine valley, for its western administrative centre, re- 
mained Eoman till a later period in the same century ;^^ and this state 
of facts, although absolute certainty cannot be claimed for it, may Jus- 
tify us in taking a first tentative step in search of any vestiges that 
may survive of Dathi' s progress, in that region. Another provisional ad- 
vance in the same direction, though not grounded on matter so ancient, 
may also be made on the authority of Duald Mac Firbis, who, writing 
in 1650, with such aids of literature and tradition as were then at the 
disposal of a professional Irish historian, himself the hereditary chro- 
nicler of the descendants of Dathi, in his narrative, has this statement : 
' Dathi went with the men of Erin over the Ictian sea towards {dochwn) 
Letha, until he reached the Alps."^*^ Letha," in this context, appears 
to mean Latium or Letha of Italy, at this time the common prey of the 

flowers, grateful as well to the eyes as smeU, an abode fit for Honoratus, who first 
founded the monasteries, and had Maximus for his successor : Blessed Lupus, his 
brother Vincentius, and revered Capresis, and so many other holy old men, who 
divelt in separate cells, have made the life of the Egyptian monks to flourish amongst 
us. This letter was written on the occasion of Eucherius's retui'n to the islands 
after visiting Honorat in the same year assigned to Dathi's expedition, 428. Is 
Honorat the Saint Senior of the Irish Patrician tradition ? 

1'^ As Fontius ; of whom see Mliller, vol. i. p. 245. 

^^ As Sumanus and Cupicinus, Burgundians of noble bii'th, ibid., citing Greg. 
Turon. Vitce Fat., c. 1. 

^* As Protesius, a noble Venetian, ibid. 

^° Et hactenus Ehsetia et Eomanorum nomen imperiumque fuit. Nam postea 
Alemanni invaserunt qui circa Rhenum et Acronium sunt, et Bomanos quidem ex- 
pulerant, Ehsetos vero intra suos montes rupesqtie concluserunt ; ita tamen ut pervios 
et prope subjectos haberent. [a.d. cccclix] Undo per Bhsetiam Alemannos vasta- 
bundos descendisse cecinit Sidonius ApoUinaris : 

Conscenderat Alpes 
Ehsetorumque jugo per longa silentia ductus 
Eomano exierat populato trux Alemannus, 
Perque Cani dictos quandam de nomine campos 
In praedam centum novies diviserat hostes. 
{Guillimann, de reb Selvet. 4° Amitemi 1623, p. 420). 

The " Cani dictos de nomine" are the Grisons. 

16 Hy Fiachrach, 18. 

1^ Letha {a latitudine, Corm. Gloss.) seems to apply generally to the whole 
expanse of the Continent of Europe, but particularly to certain districts of it 
ascertained by the context. 


170 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

northern barbarian nations. The principal roads which invaders de- 
siring to reach any part of Italy froia these islands should pursue 
were as clearly defined in the fifth century as they are now ;^^ for the 
passes through which alone roads could at any time be carried are 
limited in number and unchangeable in position. If, therefore, the 
nearest point at which sub-Alpine Eoman territory could be reached 
was, as has been suggested, in the district of the tipper Ehine, there 
would be a reasonable presumption that the route by Coire and the 
passes of the Spleugen would be that entered on by Dathi in this expedi- 
tion. And this indeed is the route which early British and insular travel- 
lers are best known to have frequented. Coire itself claims the British 
Lucius as founder of its church in the end of the second century, and 
still preserves evidence of early Irish influence in its remains of Chris- 
tian art.^^ This Alpine district also seems to have been known to the 
Irish legendary writers, as may be gathered from the passage in the 
Tain bo Fraicli, where Conall Cernach and his companions, on their 
expedition to the Continent, are said to have gone " over the Ictian 
sea to the north of the Lombards, tiU they came to Sliebte Ealpse ;-" 
and the tradition still preserved by the family of De Salis {Macarin 
Excid. 233), whose chief seat during the Middle Ages was at Marsch- 
lins, on the right bank of the Upper Ehine, that an Irish king on his 
journey to Eome on one occasion slept at their- castle, evidences the 
continued user of that highway into Italy by the insular peoples. 

The Upper Ehine valley, to which we have been conducted by this 
concurrence of hints and inferences, debouches on the Lake of Con- 
stance at Bregentz {Brigarditini), where the highway fi'om Italy through 
ancient Ehsetia divided, one branch leading northward to Augsburg 
and thence to the Lower Ehine, and the other, skirting the 
southern shore of the lake, westward and southward to Zurich 
{Turicuni). A traveller to or from Coire might, however, adopt an 
alternative and shorter route by the defile of the Lacus Eivarius^ 

^s The passes sliowii in the Peiitinger map, and plotted out in the Itineraries 
are substantially the same as in a modern Bradshaw : — 

1 . In Alpe Maritima, . . The Corniche road. 

2. In Alpe Cottia, . . . Mont Cenis. 

3. In Alpe Graia, 

4. In Summo Pennino, 

5. By Cmia and Glavenna, 

6. By the Koric Alps, 

The Little St. Bernard. 

The Great St. Bernard. 

The Splugen, -with its branches. 

The Brenner. 

13 It is impossible, at Coii-e, to contemplate the sculptured slabs dug up fi-om the 
ciypt of the cathedral, ■«-ithout agitating in one's mind the problem whether that 
interlaced work, with its ancient grotesques, be an evidence of Eoman design travel- 
ling northward, or of insular fancy reacting on the taste of the conquerors. Of the 
Irish design of the silver and ivory shrines preserved in the sacristy there can be 
no question. 

20 Do cumlat ass a triur tar muir tar Saxam tuascirt. tar muii- h'icht co tuascert 
longbard corrancattar Sliebte Ealpse. {Booh of Lemster Facs., p. 2.52, a). Where 
the designation Saxam, given to Britain, limits the age of the piece. 

FERGUSO]sr — On the Legend of Dathi. 171 

now Lake Wallenstadt, whicli, leading eastward from the head of the 
Lake of Zurich, past the opening of the valley of Glarus {Clarona^^), 
through a depression at the end of the Appenzell Alps, opens on 
the left bank of the Ehine about forty miles above Bregentz. The 
tribes who in Ptolemy's time occupied the point of junction, the Sa- 
ronici and Rigiisci, have left their names in the town of Sargans, where 
the railway junction now exists, and in E,agatz, five miles higher up, 
now the well-known health-resort for the adjoining baths of Pf offers, 
the Fabaria of the Middle Ages.^^ Greographers are agreed in placing 
the Castra Rhmtiea of the Latin writers in the tract about the lower 
end of Lake Wallenstadt, in the district of Gastern; and the small 
towns of Tertzen and Quarten, on its southern, and Quinten on its 
northern bank, are accepted as marking the sites of Roman military 
stations. At MoUis, another small place between Quarten and Glarus, 
there was found in 1765 a hoard of Eoman coins,'^^ dating from the 
first to the third century, all indicating the existence of a well- 
frequented line of communication by this route in Eoman times. 
Pfeffers claims for its founder a bishop Firmin or Pirmin, once of 
Metz.-* The name is not preserved in the abbey itself, but in the ad- 
jacent village of Saint Perminsberg, which stands higher up the moun- 
tain, both places being in the immediate vicinity of Eagatz. Leaving 
Eagatz for Zurich by the route which has been indicated, one passes 
through or near a number of towns and hamlets in the neighbourhood 
of Lake "Wallenstadt, of which, for the purpose of this inquiry, it will 
only be necessary, in addition to the places already mentioned, to 
notice Wangs, Flums, Wallenstadt, which in the last century was 
Wallestadt, at the head of its lake, and Grrinau at the head of the 
Lake of Zurich. 

We are now in a condition to judge how far what has been pre- 
mised may be found in accordance with the story of Dathi, as it exists 
in its oldest-written form in our now well-known eleventh-century 
manuscript, the Lebor na K JJidhri. The text is accompanied by a gloss 

21 It is "vicus Clarona" in Florencius' account of the martyrdom of PelLs: 
and Eegula, an event for which an antiquity going behind the date of Dathi has 
been claimed. [Guillemann in Thes. Hist. Kelvet., p. 109 a.) 

-2 GuUlemann's description of Pfeffers in the beginning of the last century is 
deserving of preservation : — Omnium (aquarum) magis mirandse Fabarise, a viciao 
Benedictenorum csenobio nomen sortitse. In Eacantiorum ambitu, intra montium 
fauces, portentoso aspectu, additu difficiles, infernafi trucique situ ; ac velut hor- 
rendo in barathro, strepitu prseterlabentis per vicinia saxa cautesque fiuvii, at con- 
tinue mentis aquae impluvio pulsantur. Nee deterret ea loci facies ab ingressu, 
cum frequentes eo morbidi conveniant. Mirum vero periculum homines sanitatis 
facere, ut sanitatem acquirant : quis namque inter f cstorem, f umos, contagia, speret 
morbos depellere, cum ex ipsis fiant ? Fingunt tamen exempla miseri et credunt , 
sanatosque audiunt semper alios, se vident nusquam. {Selvetiorum Republica, 12". 
Leyden, 1627, p. 492.) The ink-black colour, in time of flood, of the Tamina is 
the only feature wanting to complete the picture. 

23 Miiller, Hist, cle Swisses, vol. i., p. 334. 

''''* Bucelin, Rhcetia Etrusca ad An. 717. 

172 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

in a handwriting, as O'Donovan judged, nearly equally ancient. It 
may indeed be a cotemporary transcript of an older edition of the text 
already glossed. There are other editions of the narrative in later 
Irish manuscripts ; but though these be later in transcription, and some 
of them in compilation, it is not to be concluded that they are necessa- 
rily derived from less ancient material. I offer no excuse for the bald- 
ness of the translation, which savours of the almost prehistoric rudeness 
of the original. 

Aided Natlii agus a adnacol iwso. 
Eogab Nathi mao, Fiachrach lieriwd agus roiwsaig 


CO sliab nelpa. Formemis tracia tanic 
dia ailitliri co sliab nelpa isi?id amsirsiw. 

.1. do fotuib agus clochaib 

Do rigned leis tor cathrach agus sesca traiged 

a aii-dde agus oen iraig dec uadsowi co solsi agus ro boi 

.t. Formenus 

.1 . is de atbertea seo>M im medon in tuir agus ni aced gnmx na solsi. Tanic 
an difiim. si« fris conid ■'• . . . . 

dathi a a?/im on dni ira Natbi cosiw tor. roscailset ira mtuMtir Natm iw Tor 

is dathi gabalaid. agus ro airig formenus in gaith cbuca. rue ira dia uadib 

.i.mile cherae»!d on sleib sis ata Formenus. 

formenus in adlui?« tbened mile cbeme«d on tor agus roguid 
formenus in co?wdid nabiad flatbius datbi ni bad sia 

.1. Nathi 

i«na si« agus roguid nabad ardairc a ligi nirabi tra 
do saegul oc ond rig acbt aii'et robas oc taithmecb 
na catbracb in tan tanic saiget gelan do m.m cbuci 
CO fuair a bas. Gabaid ira awjalgaid cernacbt fer 

.1. da awzalgaid robatar and .i. a?«algaid mac fiachrach agus awalgaid mac Nathi. 

nerewd agus atnaig corp a atbar leiss. Noi catba ro 

brissitar re»wpu an air. in deseib temracb tr« fuair amal 

.1. Cath corpair . .i. MacNathi 

Cath cinni. Cath faili gaid a bas. Tucad tr« coi-p datbi aniar co ro ad 

Cath miscail. Cath naiced be i cruachai;?. Cetbror da?; da ses gr«da 

cith Moli^^Ca?h grenis. ^'^'^l^^ ^^ '^"I'P 1^° ■'■ dungalacb agus flandgus to;«al 

Cath fo?-nar. isiat sin tacb agus tuathal. CO 111 lor lar oenaig cruacan. 

na catha ro maid Simmuil ro follsig torna eces. Cells cacb a crwacho 

setar re nathi cbroderg coem ri beri« datbi m«c fiacbracb fial ri 
srta. na thaisbenad ■ i- i. vx i t. • • ii, 

dona sluagaib ^^' ^^i' ^i' tu" tecntastar cacb cara rig lath ra 

is e marb. ortar cacb ni cbeiL. Cells cacb. 

and further on, referring to the incident of the tower : — 

In noem ar togail a muir atrubairt fiis in a ruin 
a ligi no a lecbt and nibad airdairc a cniacbo. 

That is to say, in literal translation : — 

Tbe deatb {Aided, query Edda?) of Natbi and bis burial here. 

Natbi, son of Fiachra, took [reigned over] Erin, and invaded to the Alp 
mountains. Formenus, king of Thrace, came on pilgrimage to the Alp mountains 
at that time. There ^ras made by him a castle tover, and sixty feet its height, and 

Ferguson — On the Legend of Dathi. 173 

eleven feet outwards from him to the light, and he M-as himself in the middle of the 

tower, and perceived not a ray of the light. Then came Xathi to the tower. 

* Then the followers of Xathi demolished the tower. And Formenus perceived 

the wind [outer air] about him. Then Formenus was snatched from them in 

i.e. a thousand paces from [that] mountain do\\-nv.-ard is Formenus. 

a flame of fii-e a thousand paces from the tower. And Formenus prayed the co-God- 

i.e. Dathi's 

head that the reigii of Dathi might not he of long continuance, and that his grave 
might not he conspicuous. The king enjoyed life only 
wMle he was destroying the castle, when a flash of light- 

The Battle of Corpar, ning came from heaven on him so that he died. Amal- 

B. of Cmne, B. of i e there weretno Amalgaids, i.e. Amalgaid son of Fiachra, and Amalgaid 

Faili, B. of Miscail, son of Dathi. 

B. of Corde, B. of gaid then took the command of the men of Erin, and 

B°of'Foml?'' These carried away the body of his father with him. Xine 

are the battles which battles were routed before him in the east. In the Decies 

were won around of Tara then Amalgaid died. Then the body of Dathi was 

^'^?;';^i' .*^^°'i&J} ^^^ carried to the west, and he was buried at Cruachan. A 

the host°s? and S '° company of four men of noble rank brought the body with 

dead. ' them, i.e. Dungalach and Flangus,Tomaltach and Tuathal, 

so that he is in the mid-floor of Aenach-Cruachain, even 
as Toma Eces manifested: "Thou concealest from aU, 
oh Chruacha Crovderg, the comely king of Erin, Dathi son of Fiachi-a, time king, 
by sea, by land. It has been testified to all that it was in royal land the king 
died. From aU I do not conceal it. Thou concealest fi-om all," etc. 

And again : 

The Saint, upon the demolition of his wall, said to him, in prophetic strain. 
That his grave nor his gravestone should not be conspicuous, oh Craacho. 

It only remains to observe that the name Pormenus and Forme- 
nius of these tracts is given as Parmenius by Keating, and as Sanctus 
"Fir mirm s by OTlaherty, in order to perceive the relevancy of a cha- 
racteristic expression in one part of the gloss-Tvriter's commentary, 
which seems to afiord us the first positive key to the situation. 
When, in Irish hagiological writing, this form of expression occurs — 
such a one "is" in such a place — it signifies, not that that person is 
still living, but that he is there buried, or that his relics are there 
preserved, or that his name is there venerated ; and this, generally, in 
some church of his foundation. ^^ K'ow the gloss-writer here, com- 
menting on that part of the text which describes Formenus as being 
rapt away a thousand paces from the tower, uses these words : " That 

* I do not attempt a literal translation of the first gloss, which is very obscure in 
the original, but which appears to correspond with M'Firbis's statement, that he 
had the name of Dathi, from his activity in catching (on his shield ?) the weapons 
thrown against him. — (Hy Fiachrach, 21.) 

-^ See the Irish Acta 2^assiin. A remarkable example is found in the Tripartite 
Life of St. Patrick, where certain saints, after the removal of their relics from 
Donard in the county of Wicklow, are said still to be there : — " The third [church 
erected by the disciples of Palladius] is the church which is called Dominica Arda, 
in which ' are' holy men of the companions of Palladius, viz. Sylvester and Solinus, 
whose relics after some time were carried to the island of Bocthin, and are there 
held in merited honor." (Todd's St. Patrick, p. 297.) This form of expression 
has led to the erroneous belief that the authors and the persons named as being in 
such and such chui-ches were cotemporaries. 

174 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

is, a thousand paces from the [that] mountain downward, Formenus 
is," being tantamount to the aiRrmation that there exists a church 
wherein the memory of Formenus is venerated, or where his relics are 
deposited, lower down the mountain near the place where Dathi met 
his death on that occasion. There is no ecclesiastical foundation of 
any Formenus or Firminus in any part of the whole region of the Alps 
but the one ascribed to Firmin at Pfeffers ; and, in point of fact, that 
church of Pfeffers does stand about the distance in question below 
the village and height of St. Perminsberg in the region to which the 
inquiry d priori has so conducted us. This fact of the existence of 
two places — one the hermitage of the recluse on the height, and one 
the church, ascribed to a founder of the same name, on the lower 
slope of the mountain — has obviously been regarded as a circumstance 
necessary to be noted in the story. Mac Firbis thus refers to it in his 
version of the legend: — " Formenius then went a thousand paces 
down from that mountain and dwelt in another habitation, "^^'' both 
statements importing the existence at St. Perminsberg of an anchorite 
called Forminus, Formenius, or Firminus, previous to the foundation 
of the great church of Fabaria. 

The gloss- writer, having thus pointed at a place lying on the track 
which Dathi has been, so far, presumed to have followed, goes on to 
give other topographic indications which, so far as resemblances of 
names after the lapse of so many centuries can be relied on, appear 
to confirm the first identification, and to localize the scene of the in- 
vaders' retreat in the district which has been described as extending 
from Eagatz and Sargans to the head of the Lake of Zurich. Com- 
menting on the noi catlia of the text, he gives a list of the nine 
battles fought by the Irish under Aulay, as they withdrew, on their 
return journey, carrying with them the dead body of the king. These 
are the names, in their nominative cases which he enumerates : — 

1. Corpar. 4. Miscal. 7. Moli. 

2. Cinne. 5. Larrand. 8. Grrenis. 

3. Fale. 6. Corde. 9. Fornar. 

It may be doubted whether Corpar be the name of a place or a 
name descriptive only of the strife about the dead body of Dathi, 
corp-ar, i.e. " body," or "corpse-slaughter." The name is not found in 
present topography either here or, so far as diligent search enables me 
to speak, anywhere in the Alpine or sub-Alpine region. Neither lisis 
Miscal or any name apparently representing it been found. But of 
the remaining seven names five certainly present a close agreement 
in sound and local collocation with existing names of places already 
enumerated on the route from Eagatz by the Wallenstadt defile 
towards Zurich. 

25« jjy Fiachrach, 23. 

Ferguson — On the Legend of Dathi. 175 

Larrand, Corde, Moli, and Grenis of the list have such a corre- 
spondence with Clarona, Quarten, Mollis, and Grinau, as to afford 
ground for conjecturing that Fale is also represented by the "Walle- 
stadt of the last century. ^^ Of these it may be observed that Quarten, 
which in the last century was Quart, ^''' Mollis, and Grinau, stand rela- 
tively to one another in the same sequence as Corde, Moli, and Grenis. 
This collocation is the more remarkable because, though there are 
numerous Mols and Miihls scattered through the Alpine neighbour- 
hoods, there is not, so far as I can learn, any other Quarten or 

Before dealing with the remaining names Cinni and Fornar, enu- 
merated by the gloss-writer, reference may be made to another list, 
apparently derived from an independent source, which Mac Firbis has 
given in his version of the story. He also mentions nine battles, but, 
in enumerating them, gives ten names, beginning his list also with 
Corpar, which may be an additional reason for regarding that name 
as descriptive only and not topographical. He follows the same order 
in the remaining names, save that he introduces after Cinni, which he 
makes Cime, or Cingi, the additional name of Colom; gives Corde in 
the form Corte; for Larrand has Lundwm; and for Fornar, Fermer. 
There is a small place, Lunden, above Marschlins in the Landquart 
valley,-^ on the right bank of the Rhine opposite Ragatz. Fornar and 
Fermer are names with which I am unacquainted. They may be 
corrupt forms of Ferner, "a glacier," of frequent occurrence in the 
Tyrol, but not now, so far as I know, surviving west of the Inn. 

The Cinni of the gloss-writer seems to offer itself more feasibly 
for purposes of comparison, in the form Cinge given to it by Mac 
Firbis. As regards Cinge and the Colom of the same writer, reference 
may be made to a class of monosyllabic names of places ending in s, 
contracted from older forms, characteristic of the whole of the Alpine 
region, such as Prims (Prima), Worms (Bormium), Stelfs (Stelbium), 
Cles (Clusium), Linz (Lindum), &c. Whether Cingi and Colom 
may not have their representatives in the present Wangs and Plums ^° 
I do not. venture to affirm or deny. It seems difficult, in presence 
of so considerable a number of agreements between the Irish lists 
and the existing local nomenclature, to doubt that a tradition of 
Dathi having penetrated as far as the neighbourhood of Ragatz, and 
of his followers, after his death, having made their retreat by way 

2^ (De I'Isle, Charte de la Suisse, Paris, 1715). Plantin, mhis Helvetia, Leyden, 
1627, 16™°, p. 300, makes Wallenstadt quasi Italorum Oppidum, as we should say 
in this country, Gaulstown, which is also the opinion of GmUimann and Stumpf . 

^'' Same map. 

''■^ Grinau, the Grinovium of late middle age records, stands on the south shore 
of the lake of Zurich. 

-^ H. Keller's Reisecharte der Schweiz, Zurich. 

3'^' Thought by Guillemann and Plantin to be a Eoman ad Flumen. And the 
Commune is called Plcls ad Fhnnina in ancient documents. 

176 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

of the "Wallenstadt valley, existed in Ireland previous to the date of 
the Tlidhre glosses. 

A vast anachronism, however, would be committed in making 
Dathi cotemporary with the St. Pirmin of Swiss history, who is cre- 
dited with the foundation of Fabaria, a.d. 717.^^ If there were any- 
thing in the life of this eminent ecclesiastic^^ at all corresponding 
to the adventures of the Pormenus of the text, it would be difficult 
to avoid the conclusion that the achievements of some Prankish free- 
booter of the eighth century had been ascribed to the Irish king of 
the fifth, and that the list of localities inscribed in Uidhre has been 
the fruit of some mediaeval traveller's observation, picked up at 
Pfeffers, and contributed as an embellishment to the bardic ro- 
mance. But there are few mediaeval saints whose lives exhibit less of 
the marvellous than does that of Permin of Meiz. He was not a 
king. He never seems to have led a heremetical life. Thunder or 
lightning find no place in any of the incidents related of his active 
evangelical career. He died at Pulda, in the abbey of his friend the 
great Boniface, whence his remains were transferred to Hornbach, 
and afterwards to Innsbruck, where they are still preserved. ^^ Were 
there then two Firmins — the hermit of St. Perminsberg and the evan- 
gelizing bishop of Pabaria ? And is it to the former of these persons 
and places the gloss-writer refers when he says, Formenus "is" 
there ; and Mac Pirbis refers, when he says Pormenius, after leaving 
his tower, went a thousand paces down the mountain, and there 
dwelt in another habitation ? 

It is a singular circumstance that Eichorn,^* in his history of the 
diocese of Coire, writing in 1797, in ignorance of the Irish tradition, 
should have been led to question whether, previous to the arrival of 
Permin of Metz, there were not already certain Christian anchorites 
residents of St. Perminsberg. What raised that question in his mind 
was a tradition which, curiously enough, is conversant with a shift of 
the site of the original dwelling, purporting that Pirmin began the 
first construction of his monastery at Marschlins, but that, following 

31 Bucelin puts it at a.d. 717 ; Eichorn at or after 724. 

2- The Benedictine Acta, vol. iv. p. 152 last edited by Mone {Quallensammlung 
der Badeschen Landesgeschicte, vol. i. p. 31). The original ms. is in the library at 

33 Mone, ihid., p. 36. 

3i Origineni suam debet Fabaria S. Pirminio sicut et Augia dives. Legi in 
veteri dissertatione quadam prima monasterii fundamenta cii'ea annum 713 vel 717 
posita fuisse et in Martislinio seu Marschlins, ubi modo cum arce pagus est ; sed, 
opere vix ctepto, columba, ut fertm*, locum monstrante (quae, eapropter, Fabarien- 
sium insigne est) trans Ehenum in monte super Ragatiam cella extructa perhibetur, 
ubi hodiedum monasterium prominet. Quae, si vera sint, quosdam vel anachoretas 
vel monachos ante Pirminii adventum Fabariam inhabitasse necessum est ; nam 
preesul iste demum anno 724 in Germaniam venit. (Upiscojyatus Curiensis, 4°, 1797, 
p. 266). I fail to follow the reasoning of Eichorn, and must either suppose that 
some language importing that the memory of another holy person of the same name 
was venerated at the place, has been dropped out of his printed work, or conclude 
that his argument rests on no substantial basis. 

Fergusox — On the Legend of Bathi. 177 

the g-uidance of a dovej he transferred his operations to the height 
ahove Eagatz. Bucelin also, in his Rhcetia Etrusca,^^ has got the 
same story, but in a form, -^hich helps tlie inquiry only so far as it 
implies that Pirmin's first erection at Pfeffers was a wooden structure, 
and so the less likely to he the same as that referred to in the Irish 
legend. He gives it with the addition that, some of the workmen 
having cut their fingers, the dove showed the way by carrying off the 
bloodied chips to the opposite bank of the river ; whence the dove in 
the armorial shield of Pfeffers. It may be observed that in Irish p-p 
and]"tixy-|^ signify " down" and ''up" respectively, and are often lialDle 
to transposition through errors of transcription. 

Up to this point, therefore, continental inquiry has supplied nothing 
corroborative of the Irish story which would not also be consistent 
with a post-eighth century origin ; and, if the matter rested here, the 
substantial part of the legend, detailing events of the fifth century, 
would probably be regarded as resting only on the precarious autho- 
rity of Irish bardic romance. The period in question is one of the 
darkest in European history. It is too late for the western writers, 
Ammianus Marcellinus, and Orosius, and too early for Paul Deacon. 
It .'falls, however, within the range of the cotemporary ecclesiastical 
historians, Socrates and Theodoret, and these writers both record mat- 
ter so pertinent to the subject that some surprise may be felt at its not 
having hitherto been noticed in this connexion. Socrates begins his 
history at a.d. 309, where Eusebius ended, and brings down his nar- 
rative to A.D. 440. Having related the occurrences which took place 
after the death of Honorius and the attempt of the Secretary John to 
usui^ the succession, for which purpose he had cultivated the good 
will of the Hunnish tribes settled in Pannonia, as also John's defeat 
and death in a.d. 425, he proceeds to state : " After the death of the 
tyrant, the barbarians, whom he had called to his assistance against 
the Eomans, made preparations for ravaging the Eoman province. 
The emperor, being informed of this, immediately, as his custom was, 
committed the management of the matter to Gocl, and, continuing in 
earnest prayer, speedily obtained what he sought ; for the following 
disasters befel the barbarians : — Eougas, their chief, was struck dead 
by a thunderbolt. Then a plague followed which destroyed most of 
those who were under him ; and, as if this was not sufficient, fire 
came down from heaven and consumed many of the survivors 

3= Bucelin. was Prior at Feldiii'ch, and litely to be well acqiiiainted with, the local 
traditions. His account is as follows : — Pirmiaio hortante, .... fervide opus 
agitur. — Dum fabri lignarii, utrixmq^ue cauti, cavere tamen satis vuLnera nequeunt, 
diun trabas scindere et aptare conarentur, nee sine prodigio comperentibus niveo 
candore columbis quae non alias assulas ac fragmenta cum sanguine fabrili tincta 
collegere, et congeminato ssepius volatu atque ablatis sanguine notatis assulis trans 
Rhenum in editi montis sinum evolare, eademque uno loco deponere deprehensce 
sunt. Quo prodigio S. Perminius moveri se sensit non Marsclinii sed notato pro- 
digiose loco Deum sibi condendo ccenobio aream eligisse . . . . eo sumptibus et 
labore conversis, &c. (BucelLni, Ehcetia Mrusca, 4°, Augsburg, 1666, p. 148.) 


178 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

On this occasion Proclus, the bishop, preached a sermon in the church 
which was greatly aclmirecl, in which he applied a prophecy out of 
Ezekiel [xxxviii. 2, 22, 23] to the deliverance which had been 
effected by Grod in the late emergency. This is the language of the 
prophecy : ' And thou Son of Man, prophesy against Gog, the Prince 
of Ehos, Misoch, and Thobel,'" &c}^ 

Proclus did not attain the episcopal rank till 426,^^ so that the 
event described may be set down as not being earlier than that date. 
Theodoret begins his history at a.d. 322, and ends at 428, and he re- 
lates the same occurrence,^^ like Socrates, without specific date. The 
event, therefore, cannot have been earlier than 426, or later than 428, 
and is thus brought within identically the same chronological limits in 
Byzantine as in Irish history. Theodoret, who wrote in Asia Minor, 
at a greater distance from the scene of the event than Socrates, de- 
scribes the invaders (1. v., c. xxxvii.) as I^omad Scythians, who had 
crossed the Danube under the leadership of Eoilas, who, he agrees, 
was slain by a thunderbolt, vouchsafed to the prayers of Theodosius 
on that occasion, and lays the scene of the event in Thrace. The 
same story, varying the name of the leader as Eoas, Eoilas, and 
Eugilas, is told by the later ecclesiastical writers Mcephorus and 
Epiphanius Scholasticus, all apparently grounding on the original 
narrative of Socrates. 

It appears in the highest degree improbable that two leaders of 
two barbarian incursions over the Eoman frontier should both have 
met their deaths at or about the same time in a manner so exceptional; 
and probably the conclusion of most minds will be that, whether it be 
the disaster of the Hun applied to the Scot by Irish, or that of the 
Scot applied to the Hun by the Byzantine chroniclers — whether the 
thunderbolt was accorded to the prayers of the Byzantine emperor or 
of the Alpine hermit — the event in both sets of annals is one and the 
same. In any case, it cannot be denied that the concurrence of his- 
toric notices so respectable adds materially to the interest of the Irish 
story, and requires for it a more serious attention than probably it 
ever would have received if standing only on Irish bardic authority. 
Circumstantiality of detail, in a narrative of respectable antiquity, 
is certainly presumptive of genuineness ; and it is remarkable that the 
item in the Byzantine account which may best claim the credit of cir- 
cumstantiaKty, the mention of the leader's name, is that which, in the 
estimation of critics, has chiefly brought the entire statement into 
question f^ for Eougas, Eoas, Eoilas, or Eugilas, a noted leader of 
the Huns, and uncle of Attila, certainly did not perish on the occasion 
in question, but lived to dictate terms of peace to the Eomans, at a 
later stage of the war, and is recorded in the annals of Prosper, a co- 

36 Socrates, Eeel. Hist., 1. vii. c. 43. 
^'' Socrates, Eccl. Hist., L. yiii., c. 43, 

38 Theodoret, 1. v. c. 137. 

39 Gibbon, c. 34. 

Ferguson — On the Legend of Dathi. 179 

temporary, to have died in 434 ; and it may be that Socrates' s Rougias 
is but Rougiascois misunderstood, and designates, not the object, but 
the place of the catastrophe. 

The Huns in Pannonia appear to have crossed the fi'ontier and in- 
vaded the imperial provinces in great force immediately — within three 
days it is said — after the death of John, which took place sometime in 
the summer of 425. This seems to be the movement of the friends of 
the usurper referred to by Socrates, but can hardly have been the 
occasion on which their leader was struck by lightning ; for that 
seems to have been subsequent to Proculus's episcopate, and these 
discrepancies, it must be allowed, do somewhat detract from the 
particular accuracy of his narrative {Anc. Univ. Hist., 16, p. 216, 
citing Philostorgius, p. 538, and Cassiodorus). 

It is also observable that although Proculus regarded the invaders 
as Huns, or rather indeed as a horde of Russians, Theodoret's descrip- 
tion of them as wandering Scythians would be equally applicable to 
the Scots of the Irish chronicles, and that the passage of the Danube 
would be equally incidental to their progress if we suppose them, de- 
clining the neighbourhood of the Eoman legions, to have reached 
Ehaetia through the country of the still Pagan Suevi, and of their 
own kindred tribes of the Brigantes, also Pagans. 

Having the attention thus quickened to the value of the Irish 
material, it will be less tedious to proceed with its remaining inci- 
dents. The gloss-writer, at the close of his list, adds: — " These are 
the battles that were gained around Dathi, through his exhibition to 
the hosts, and he dead." This refers to a statement, not found in Lehor 
na A' Uidhri, but detailed with much curious minuteness as well as 
picturesqueness by Mac Pirbis : — 

"Murdo conncadar fir Ereann sin, do cuirsiod sbongc re lasad i m-beol an 
rig ionnns go saoilfead gac aon go m-bet 'n-a beataid agus giir ob i a anaU do 
bet ag tea't tar a b'eiil . ■ . Gabas tra Amalgaid mac Dati ceandus fear n-Ereann, 
agus adnaid a atair les ar iomear, gur ro bris naoi g-cata ris for muir, agus dech. 
g-cata for tir, agus se marb, a', uil do taispendis a muintir fen corp an rig, ro 
mugiead rompa for na sluagaib teagiuad riu."*o 

" When the men of Erin perceived this (the death of Dathi), they put a lighted 
sponc in the King's mouth, in order that all might suppose that he was living, and. 
that it was his breath that was coming out of his mouth. . . . Amhalgaidh, the son 
of Dathi, then took the command of the men of Eria, and he carried the dead body of 
his father with him, and he gained nine battles by sea, and ten battles by land, by 
means of the corpse ; for, when his people exhibited the body of the king, they 
used to rout the forces that opposed them." 

Strange as this device for inspiring terror into an enemy may 
seem, it is not without parallel in what Plorus has told us of the cen- 
turion Domitius, or Cronidius, who, in the Dalmatic war, in Augustus's 


« Hy Fiachrach, 22. 

180 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

time, attached some kind of chafing-disli, filled mth. combustibles, to 
his helmet, so that the superstitious j\Iysians conceived some super- 
natural being to have come amongst them crowned with flames.*^ 

What has been said of other recluses will have lessened any 
surprise at the presence of the royal hermit in this story. Nor is 
there anything in the description of his tower in the text inconsistent 
with authority or example. His tower may be inferred to have been 
a round one, agreeably to the instruction for building fortress towers 
given by Vitruvius.*- In that part where he dwelt, presumably on 
the ground-level, as being the object of a predatoiy attack, there was 
no access for light ; whence we may infer that the door to the interior 
existed at a considerable height fi'om the ground, being the method 
of construction found in all the oldest examples of such detached 
towers, here and on the Continent.^ The facility with which the 
soldiers of Dathi broke through the wall may be accounted for by a 
circumstance, noted by the gloss- writer, and repeated in other editions 
of the story, that the tower was built " of sods and stones," meaning 
possibly that its stones were cemented vdth clay," or, more probably, 

*i jS'on minimiun terroiis incussit barbaris Domitius, centmio satis barbarae, 
efficacis tamen apiid paris bomines stoliditatis, qiii fociilmu gereas super cassidem, 
suscitatani motu corporis flammam velut ardenti capite, fundebat. {Flori Epitom., 
1. iv., c. 12, s. 16.) 

*2 Turres itaque rotimdse aut polygonise faciendse : quadratas eniin machinee 
cellerius dissipant, quod angulos aiietes tundendo frangunt : in rotundationibus 
auteni (ut cuneos) ad centrum adgendo leedere non possunt. {Vitruvius de Arch., 
1. i. c. 5.) 

*3 As, mtb one exception, ia all the Irish ecclesiastical towers, and uniformly 
in tbe military donjons ascribed to the twelfth and later centmies, but some of 
them much older, on the Continent. Where an under-storey exists in these, it is 
wholly -«dthout illumination, and only approachable by a trap-door ia the first 
vault or flooring. A recluse ia such a habitation might well be described as being 
so many feet from the daylight. For tours-recluses, see Eustathius, ed. Tefei, 
p. 189. 

^ The use of clay both for cement and as building material was common among 
the barbarian nations. The wall of Severus repaired by the Britons, " factus non 
tarn lapibibus quam cespitibus, non perf ecit " (Gildas' Hist., c. 12). The earthen 
wall of Xurshivan, between the Black Sea and the Caspian, appears to have been a 
better work, the remains exhibiting the consistency of concrete {Anc. Univers. 
Hist., vol. 5, p. 363 n). S. Patrick constracted an early Irish church of clay, be- 
cause wood was not at hand, at Foirrages in Tyi-awley {BooJc of Armagh, fo. 14, 
b. 2) . Clay churches stood at Yalladolid in Spaia till the eleventh century, when 
they were rebuilt, some ia brick with clay mortar, and some in stone, by Kings 
Adelphonso oth and Ferdinand respectively {I)u Cange, Lutum). Many of the topes 
of India are cemented with clay {Mitra, Buddha Gaya, p. 102) ; and the old castle 
of Tiatagel on the coast of Cornwall, which has so long withstood the storms of the 
Atlantic, is held together by no better binding material. The " sod-waU " is of 
traditional use in Ireland. ' ' Their houses are of several sorts, but the most 
conunon is the ' sod-waU,' as they call it. By sods you are to understand the 
grassy surface of the earth. Some build their houses of mud, and others use stone 
without mortar for two or thr-ee feet from the ground, and sod or mud for two or 
thi-ee feet on the top of that." {Complete Irish Traveller, 8vo, London, 1788, vol. ii., 
p. 16.) 

Ferguson — On the Legend of Bathi. 181 

that on an understructure of stone a clay upper storey was erected. 
The definite dimensions given in the text, from which the hnilding 
appears to have been twenty-two feet in diameter and sixty feet high, 
will, to most minds, convey the impression that the story, wild as it 
is, originates in some foundation of fact. The tale, as told in the Book 
of Lecan, may now be compared with the above extract from JJidhre. 
That the one document is not copied or abridged from the other appears 
by a discrepancy in these dimensions, the distance of the dweller in 
the middle of the tower from the light being eleven feet in the tract 
in Uidhre, and seventeen feet in that of the " Book of Lecan," 

" Dogob iarum DatM mac Fiachrach mic Echach Muidmedoin rigi n-Erend re 
secLt mbliadna fichet, corthabaid in boroma cen catb. Nocortriall soir for lorg 
Neill, coranic co sliab n-Elpa. Corotbecaim do annsin tor i roibi Formenius ri 
traicia iar facbail a rigi, ogus iar toga na beatba coimdeata isin torsin, coroibi 
seacbt cubaid deg soillsi uada. Corotbogailsead Muinter Datbi a tbor fail', co 
facaid soillsi i sligi na togla, corofiarfaid Formenius, cia doroindi in togail, else. 
Dohindised corbe Datbi cona Muinter doroindi in togail. Doguidistair Formenius 
intaen[d]ia nacb beitb flaitbius Datbi ni bud faidi na sin. Gotanic soiged gelan 
do nim tre guidi an fireoin, cor marb in rig a fiadnaisi int [s]luaig. Airmid 
eolacb corab e Formenius fen do dibraic saigid a fidbac 7 corob di fa marb in rig. 
Ocus adearar corob don t[8]aigid bisin romarbad Mall mac Ecbach iarum. 
Cotucsad fir Erenn corp in rig leo co bErind 7 ceatbrar da aes grada fen oca 
iomcbor .1. Dungus ocus Flandgus, ocus Tuatbal ocus Tomaltacb. Corobris deich 
catba sleb elpa co bErind, ocus se marb cen anmain." — [Book of Lecan, 
p. 602 b.) 

"Datbi, son of Fiachra, son of Eocbaid Murgbmedbon, took tbe kingsbip of 
Erin for twenty-seven years, and exacted tbe Boru witbout contest. He ventiu'ed 
eastward on tbe track of Nial till be came to^tbe Alp moimtain, and reacbed tbere a 
tower wbereia was Formenius, king of Tbi-acia, wbo bad left his kingdom and 
cbosen a boly life in tbat tower, wbere it was seventeen cubits to tbe ligbt from him ; 
wbereupon tbe people of Datbi demolished the tower aboiit him, so that he saw the 
light in the aperture of the breach. "Whereupon Formenius demanded wbo made 
that demolition, and it was answered that it was Datbi with his people that made 
the demolition. Then Formenius prayed the One God tbat the reign of Datbi 
might endure no longer, and there came an arrow of lightning from heaven through 
the prayer of the holy person, so that it killed the king in the presence of the host. 
(The learned say that it was Formenius himself that discharged the arrow from bis 
bow, and that it was by it the king was slain ; and they say it was by this same 
aiTow that Niall son of Eocbaid was slain.) However, the men of Eriu took tbe 
king's corpse with them to Eriu, and four of his OAvn men of trust bearing, tbat is 
Dungus and Flangus, and Tuatbal and Tomaltacb, so that he broke ten battles 
from the Alp mountains to Eriu, and he dead without life." 

As regards Formenius, Parmenius, or Pirminus himself, it appears 
impossible to identify any king of Thrace with a personage of that 
name. A Thracian connexion might indeed be claimed for the Franks, 
who most probably at that time were seated not far from the scene of 
Dathi's disaster ; seeing that only fifty years afterwards they are set 
down by Stephen of Byzantium as " a nation" presumably settled 

182 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

"near the Alps ; "i* and are found in this particular Alpine region two 
centuries later, when St. Permin, we are told, in his ministrations, had 
to make use of the Latin and Prankish languages. Their own national 
tradition brings them from the East by the banks of the Danube 
"juxta Thraciam," and it is certain that in the third century some 
part of Thrace was allotted to and occupied by them as a settlement. '^^ 
It may therefore not unreasonably be inferred that if a Prankish king 
about the period in question desii'ed to adopt a heremetical life, he 
would have found a retreat among his own countrymen on this border 
of the Eoman territory. 

In the passage in which Mac Pirbis describes the process of 
making the dead king appear to breathe smoke and fii'e against his 
enemies, he repeats the above observation about the "learned." 

This double version of the means of Dathi's death may give rise to 
a suspicion that the lightning-flash is an incident borrowed from the 
story of the Hun, and that the Irish legend is built up of material 
di-awn partly from Byzantine history and partly fi'om the mediaeval 
thaumaturgists. But I fancy anyone acquainted with the characteristics 
of that kind of Irish literature will regard this introduction of the 
" arrow" which slew Xiall as one of the common aifectations of senach- 
ism, and easily separable from the less puerile incidents of the story. 
The fable of their Trojan descent, in which the Pranks only imi- 
tated the Latins and Britons, may have had its origin in the presence 
of the name Priam, father of Mareomir, in the pedigree of their 
kings. This llarcomir, who spent the latter part of his life in cap- 
tivity in Tuscany, was father of a son called Pharamond. Pharamond 
has had the ill-fortune to be regai'ded by many historical critics as a 
mythical personage, on singularly slight grounds. He is mentioned 
by Prosper, a cotemporary, as reigning in Prance in a.d. 420. There 
was no Prance then, properly so called ; but the name Prance is shown 
on the Peutinger map, as designating a country east of the Lower 
Rhine, which not impossibly may have been Pharamond' s kingdom. 
'So record, however, has been preserved, of the time or manuur 
of his death, and tradition assigns him different and inconsistent 
places of sepulture.^'^ The result has been that Pharamond's ex- 

*= Franci, origine Trojani, post eversionem Trojas, Priamo quodam duce, inde 
digressi, juxta Thi-aciam super ripas Danubii consederunt, asdificantesque ibi civi- 
tatem vocebant earn Sicambriam. ITarLSuerimtque ibi usque ad tempora Yalentiniani 

imperatoiis, a quo inde expulsi ilacconimiro, Suunione, et Genebraudo 

ducibus, renerunt et habitaverunt circa ripas_ Eeni in confinio GemianiEe et Ale- 
niauiee. Quos cum multis post moduni idem Yalentiniauu^ prseliis attemptasset, 
nee vincere potuisset, proprie eos nomine Francos quasi ferancos, ad est feroces, 
appellavit. Ead. de Diceto Abhreviat., ad an. 392. From Sugo deS. Victor Excerp- 
tiones P. Friores, 1. s., c. 1. 

*8 Under tbe Emperor Probus. ^" Stephen Byzant., cppayyoi. 

** Tlie chartularies of S. Gall abound in Prankish names ; see also the Vocabula- 
rium Teutonicum preserved there. 

■''^ Yita Pu'iuinii. 

^" Chiflet {Anastasix Childcrici Keg is) has it from the Brussels ms. that he is 

Ferguson — On the Legend of Dathi. 183 

istence as king of the Franks in France is strenuously denied, and, 
in any other ckaracter, is gravely doubted by the majority of French 
historians. Their judgment in this respect seems to carry criticism 
to an excess of caution. "What gives it its principal countenance is 
the circumstance that history makes no mention of Pharamond on the 
occasion of Aetius's expulsion of the Franks from Gaul in a.d. 428."^ 
When it is considered that this same year is that at which Prosper 
chronicles the accession of Clodio, Pharamond's successor, and is also 
that in ■which the Irish story brings Dathi to the tower of the royal 
anchorite, who had abjured his kingdom to lead a religious life in the 
Alps, the reflection will probably arise that if the writer of that story 
by his Formenus meant the king of the Franks, the circumstance of 
Pharamond's non-appearance as an opponent of Aetius on that occa- 
sion would be not unsatisfactorily accounted for. 

Here I leave this curious inquiry, professing only to have shown 
grounds for believing that the writer of the glosses in Lelor na 
A' JJidhri intended his readers to understand that such an expedition 
had been led by Dathi as far as St. Perminsberg, and that his fol- 
lowers, after his death, effected their retreat through the places in 
that neighbourhood which have been enumerated. 


Since reading the above Paper, the writer learns from the Rev. 
Pfarrer C. Ricklin, "Wallenstadt, that Farnor and Lunden are two 
places in that neighbourhood ; the first lying in the direction of 
Quinten, on the north side of the lake ; the second near Mols. The 
case, therefore, would appear at present to stand thus. The gloss to 
Uidhre gives the names : — 


(not recognized). 

Cinni or Cingi, 

possibly (?) 

the present 

Wangs, east of Wallenstadt. 

Fale, . . . . 



WaUenstad, locally Wcde- 
(stad or stadt). 

Miscal, . . . . 

(not recognized). 



the present 

Glarus, formerly Clarona. 

Corde (elsewhere Corte), 

) J 

) ) 

Quarten, on south shore of 
Lake "WaUenstad. 

MoH, . . . . 



Moh, east, or Mollis, west, 
of Quarten. 

Grenis, . . . . 



Grinmi, at head of Lake of 




Farnor, west of WaUenstad, 

on north shore of Lake. 

buried outside of Eheims ; MabUlon {Acad, des Inscrip., 11 ; 688), citing Humbold 
in Trithemius, makes his sepulchre at Farramont in the Yosges. 

°^ On this slight foundation Moreri (Pharamond) infers veiy confidently that "if 
the Franks had a king of that name, it is certain {il est sHr) that he was already 
dead when Aetius undertook this war." Usher, failing his conjecture that Phara- 
mond and Theodemir were one and the same person, concludes that he must have 
been slain in this campaign. These are arbitrary ways of reconciling the elements 
of history. 

184 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Besides these, other accounts mention — 

Colum, . . . possibly '(?) tte present i^tojws, east ofWallenstad. 
Lundun, . . . apparently Lunden, between Mols and Quarten. 

All being in one neighbourhood, on the route hither from St. Per- 
minsberg, where the gloss appears to fix the site of Firminus's cell and 
the death of Dathi. 

The circumstances of Dathi's death are still vividly preserved in 
the tradition of the country. The pillar- stone supposed to mark his 
grave stands near Cruachan, in the county of Eoscommon, on the 
estate of Mr. French, D.L., of Clooneyquin, who writes as follows : — 

" February 16th, 1882. 

" The place Tvliere Dathi is said to have been biiried, near the Relig -na-rec, 
was a portion of our old ancestral estate, and I remember, when a boy, I was often 
told that a king of Connaught was buried thei'e who had been killed by lightning at 
the foot of the Alps. I was told by the late Fitzstephen French, M.P., that they 
[Dathi's troops] were said to have placed the dead body on his horse, and fastened 
on his helmet a sponge saturated with some inflammable liquid, which struck 
terror by night into the hearts of his enemies." 

Ferguson — Address delivered before the Academy. 185 

XXXIII. — Addeess delivered befoke the Academy. By Sir Samuel 
Feeguson, LL.D., Q.C, President. 

[Eead, 30th November, 1882.] 

I AM very grateful for the honour you have done me in electing me 
to your Chair ia succession to Sir Eobert Kane. An old Irish bishop, 
writiag of a predecessor, has said — 

" I wish that I, succeeding him in place 
As bishop, had an equal share of grace." ^ 

So I may say I wish that I, succeeding Sir Eobert Kane as President 
of this Academy, may be endowed with an equal share of wisdom. 
An equal share of knowledge I hardly hope to attain to. 

Your choice of me, however, on this occasion, invites to subjects 
more important than personal considerations. My views regarding 
the inexpediency of organic changes in the constitution of the 
Academy have been so well known, that I feel warranted in accepting 
your election of me as evidence that the Academy does not desire 
the encyclopsediac character of its constitution to be disturbed. The 
Academy was incorporated almost a hundred years ago for the promo- 
tion of Science, Polite Literature, and Antiquities. Down to 1870 
its Council of twenty-one was divided into three Committees, of 
seven each, representing the three pursuits respectively. In that 
year, on the representation of some Members who took notice that 
Polite Literature had almost ceased to be cultivated, and that the 
pursuit of Science was daily becoming more important and popular, a 
change was agreed to, by which the tripartite division of Council was 
abolished, and a dual constitution substituted — one Committee of ten 
Members, instead of the former fourteen, representing Polite Litera- 
ture and Antiquities ; and the other, of eleven Members, in lieu of 
the former seven, representing Science : — a seasonable and beneficial 
change, in which none concurred more frankly than the Members of 
the non-Scientific Committees. This concession, however, did not 
satisfy. There remained a desire to push the process of re-organiza- 
tion into the constitution of the Academy itself. But these views did 
not, here, meet with encouragement. The consequence was a certain 
degree of estrangement, and the promulgation of a project for the 
establishment of a Eoyal Society for Ireland, designed, I do not 
doubt, in the supposed interests of Science, but which, in my judg- 
ment, and I think I may say in yours, by disuniting, would dissipate 
and weaken our intellectual resources, even if it did not involve an 
injurious reaction on the chartered rights of the Academy. Your 

' " Huic ego succedens, utinam tam sanctus ut ille." — Epitaph of 
Magrath, Cashel. 


186 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Council has not been unwatcliful, and has had at least the assurance 
that notice shall be given it of any proposal, in that dii'ection, being 
submitted to the Groyernment. No notice has been received so far ; 
but no assurance, neither, that such proposals may not at any time be 
made. In this state of uncertainty, it is well to know that it has not 
been the practice of the Crown to derogate fi'om its grants, unless 
where it is shown that change is required in the public interest, 
owing to some defect in the practical working of the Body whose 
charter it may be proposed to invade, and that the onus of showing 
such defect lies on the objectors. The only defect I have ever heard 
alleged against the organization of the Academy is, that a reader 
of a scientific Paper sometimes finds antiquaries among his audience, 
which, I fancy, can do Science no haim, and may do Archaeology 
some good. 

The disquieting rumours incident to this project have not pre- 
vented the Academy from prosecuting all its objects with signal 
industry. In Science, especially, the number and variety of the 
Papers read at our Meetings show a great and continuing increase. 
An estimate of the growth of this revived activity amongst us may be 
formed from the fact that, whereas up to 1871 it took twelve years 
for the production of one volume — the twenty-fourth — of our Scien- 
tifie Transactions, the next volume was completed in 1875, the next 
in 1879, while that which is now current will probably be completed 
in 1883. 

I am not competent to pronounce whether, or how far, the matter 
of these later volumes, in its scientific value, exceeds or falls short of 
that of our earlier Transactions ; but I have not been an inattentive 
listener, and I have observed that the Papers read have, I think, 
without exception, professed either to extend the bounds of existing 
knowledge, or to fui'uish more compendious processes for its attain- 
ment ; and, further, that they all have been confined to that province 
of Science in which every conclusion may be vouched by the certainty 
either of mathematical or experimental demonstration, or of widely- 
extended observation of external things. These are the excursions 
into the Unknown or the partially Known which justify the existence 
of Societies like this Academy. They supplement and extend the 
stock of knowledge communicated by our Universities and teaching 
Institutions. Their results, as they take shape, assimilate with the 
teaching of the future, and add to the supply of those theoretic 
instruments with which Practice and Invention work in ease of labour, 
in increasing the goods, and diminishing the evils, of human exist- 
ence. The process may be slow, and the steps, as taken, hardly 
noticeable , but the resulting combinations make themselves felt in 
the constantly increasing force of civilization. In proportion as such 
societies accompKsh these ends, they rightfully claim the aid of 
enlightened governments in siipporting suitable establishments for 
their meeting halls, libraries, and museums ; and, even more essential 
than these, in guaranteeing to them that sense of corporate pre- 

Ferguson — Address delivered before the Academy. 187 

eminence, security, and permanence, -without which an Academic 
spirit can no more subsist than military virtue in a concourse of 
undisciplined men. 

Outside the province of Demonstrative Science — for I do not 
intrude at all on the Moral Sciences resting on Authority — lies a 
vast and continually widening field of scientific speculation, con- 
cerning itself with the more complex elements of the human mind 
and affections ; which, though equally open to our cultivation, the 
Academy has but rarely, and to a cautious extent, entered upon ; for 
once the line of demonstration from mathematical or tangible tests is 
passed, although the formal apparatus of Science may be present, 
certainty begins to merge in probability, in analogy, and opinion. It 
seems, indeed, to be one of the conditions of human knowledge, where 
it does not rest on Authority, that, in proportion as its subjects 
become more intimate to man, their scientific treatment becomes less 
certain. Philosophical inquiry into the higher functions of our 
nature, and the moral and social crystallizations to which they give 
rise, may proceed by ostensibly scientific methods of definition and 
axiom ; but, seeing that we can take out of a definition no more than 
we put into it, the results must still depend on the inquirer's own 
breadth of view and accuracy of generalization ; and, considering the 
many circumstances which may modify these, it seems to me that the 
Academy has acted wisely in leaving that class of subjects to the 
Chairs and Sormia of Learning elsewhere. It is precisely at this 
point, however, that what I have ventured to present as an ascending 
series, rising higher from its base, and becoming less distinct as it 
rises, appears to some great minds — of which it becomes me to speak 
with the utmost respect — to be but the circle of knowledge returning 
on itself, and amenable to a physical scientific cognizance all round. 
In the absence of Authority, I can only say, for my own part, that at 
one end I see Intuitive Certainty, and at the other Inference and 
Argument ; and confess my inability to understand how the circle can 
ever be completed by welding the hot and cold metal of these 
extremes together. 

In the wide field I have referred to, in which Science may be said 
to prosecute the search after Truth, with Opinion for its yokefellow, 
my subject leads me to particularize one speculative inquiry — not the 
least interesting or delightful of its class — the theory, namely, of 
Beauty in the Fine Arts. This until lately was a special province of 
our old, honoured Sister Institution, the Eoyal Dublin Society. Now 
that Science, as conducing especially to Art and Manufacture, has 
been taken up as a branch of the Public Service, it is commonly 
supposed that the great Government Department charged with public 
instruction in these important affairs of life necessarily supplants the 
Society in this function. But those who take this view overlook the 
distinction that the South Kensington Establishment is altogether a 
teaching Institution ; whereas the Royal Dublin Society, like "this 
Academy, is, although in a more utilitarian sense, an Investigating 

188 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

and Philosophic Body, capable of rendering like services to South 
Kensington as the Academy claims to render to the Universities, by 
carrying forward vs^hat were the last results of class-room instruction 
into individual investigation and discovery to be re-contributed to the 
former stock of teaching capacity. The possibility of a splendid 
future is open to that Society, standing, as it does, in the front of the 
march of imperial intelligence, and capable, if it will, of giving 
increased vitality and even direction to its forces. That any distrust 
of the aims of a Body so well deserving in its past services, and 
having before it a field of usefulness so wide and honourable, should 
have existed, and should still require to be allayed, speaks ill for 
their capacity of dealing with the intellectual forces of a people who 
have suffered such results to grow out of their administration. 

The Department, however, will, without doubt, afford the best 
instruction that can be given in scientific aid of the Industrial Arts, 
and in this its operations will have the grateful suffrages of all 
classes. But the domain of Taste — whether artistic, architectural, or 
aesthetic — is a free field, in which teaching ex cathedrd carries no 
more authority than the critical judgments of individual refinement ; 
and we will still look to our educated classes at large, and particularly 
to the Members of the Royal Dublin Society, not only to aid in the 
promotion of every Useful Art, but to contribute the influences of 
independent taste in the Fine Arts towards the general amenities of 
our city and country. The true schools of the Fine Arts in all 
countries have been the abodes of individual men of genius, sustained 
by the presence of a rich and splendid society. Whether we shall 
ever again possess such a class of patrons as called forth the artistic 
and architectural excellence of the last century no one can fore- 
see ; but it needs no prevision to perceive that genius, although a 
class-room may bring it into notice, is not a thing that can be 

There seems indeed something incongruous in the authors of the 
architectural works hitherto produced under the auspices of the 
Department being charged with the instruction in Taste of the 
possessors of such structures as Leinster House, the City Hall, and 
the Bank of Ireland. But whatever may be thought of the buildings 
in which the London collections are deposited, no one of ordinary 
intelligence can view their contents without some enlargement of 
ideas and a great deal of enjoyment. Few observers, indeed, what- 
ever their capacity, can move through the objects assembled in the 
new Natural History Museum without experiencing an almost re- 
ligious sense of awe and wonder, and possibly, also, of responsibility 
for the faculties which have placed man at the head of so astonishing 
a creation. The Department is about to provide a Museum of similar 
collections here. If its exterior be worthy of its neighbourhood, it 
will form an elegant and dignified feature in our city. If its collec- 
tions be but approximately as instructive as those of the great London 
Institutions, our Irish public cannot but benefit from observation and 

Ferguson — Address delivered before the Academy. 189 

study among sucli examples of the mighty and beautiful works of God 
and of man. 

One gallery at least of the Museum, when it shall at length be 
established amongst us, will be amazingly rich and interesting to the 
Irish people — that, namely, which will contain the collection of 
Celtic antiquities now here in the Academy House. Under pressure 
of an intimation that our annual Parliamentary grant depended on 
our contributing this collection, to form the nucleus of the local 
National Museum, the Academy yielded to the demand of her Majesty's 
Government that we should hand it over to the State in trust for the 
Irish public ; and, as soon as a suitable place of deposit in the 
proposed Building shall be provided, it will, uberrima fide, carry out 
its engagement. But it did refuse another demand pressed upon it at 
the same time, that it should so far become a branch of the South 
Kensington Establishment as to apply for its Parliamentary grant and 
vouch its expenditure through that Institution ; and adhering at all 
risks to that refusal, it had the satisfaction to witness the withdrawal 
of the Government's demand, which all subsequent experience has 
shown was rightly and wisely abandoned. What we have acquired 
while supported by public subsidies we hold in ultimate trust for the 
State ; but our organization has hitherto been, and I trust will always 
contiaue to be, that of an independent, self-governed Corporation, 
carrying on work of voluntary investigation, with which Teaching 
Institutions, as such, have nothing to do, beyond adopting from time 
to time such additions to their formulas of instruction as those investi- 
gations may happily lead up to. The Academy depends for its 
annual grant on the liberality of 'Parliament, the constitutional 
guardian of the public purse, moved by the recommendation of the 
Queen's Government of the day. At the time of the Union, its aid in 
the promotion of social intelligence and refinement was deemed worth 
an annual acknowledgment of about £160. Its increased activity, 
and, presumably, the increased value of its services to Science and 
Literature, have been so far recognized by successive Administrations 
and by the Imperial Parliament that, for many years back, besides being 
provided with this excellent house, it receives an annual grant amount- 
ing to £2000; not excessive as compared with the necessary wants of an 
Institution prosecuting so many undertakings and maintaining such an 
establishment ; but far from penurious or unhandsome. The Academy, 
indeed, has always found the Queen's Government ready to give a 
favourable consideration to its wants where these have been for 
clearly-defined and realizable purposes of utility. At the present 
moment it is even in advance of our ability to give employment to its 
bounty. But rare learning, if we would profit by it, must be allowed 
its own leisure ; and although the Annals of Ulster have 1:>een called 
for with some impatience, whatever delay has occurred has been in 
the interests of historical knowledge. For it ought to be known that 
the text and translation of these Annals down to the time of the 
Conquest are already published; and that what we wait for are 

190 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

the notes and critical comments which, no man living ean give us, 
but one. 

In transferring our antiquarian collections, we have the satisfac- 
tion of knowing that we aid a great and, I tmst, a very useful 
puhlic object by a splendid contribution ; and, further, that we repay 
the advances of the State to the extent of above two thousand pounds 
of our private moneys from time to time siink in the purchase and 
cataloguing of the objects themselves. The nucleus of our Museum 
was formed, by voluntary donations and purchases out of our own 
income, before we left our old residence in Grafton-street. The first 
large accession was purchased in 1840-2 from the representatives of 
the late Very Rev. Dr. Dawson, Dean of St. Patrick's, for a sum of 
upwards of one thousand pounds, altogether subscribed by ourselves 
and our friends. The Cross of Cong, purchased for one hundred 
pounds, was the donation of a Member. The Tara torques were 
bought for one hundred and ninety pounds, subscribed by ourselves. 
So was the Domnach Argid, for upwards of two hundred pounds, raised 
in the same way. Our books contain the detail of ten other subscrip- 
tions amongst Members to purchase particular objects now destined 
for the State Museum. The whole price at which the collection 
has been acquired may be computed at between five and six thou- 
sand pounds. The mere material in gold and silver is intrinsically 
worth more than two thousand four hundred pounds. To estimate 
the artistic and historic value of the collection would be impossible. 
But celebrated and acknowledged, as it is, for the finest collection of 
its kind in existence, were it put up to auction to be bid for by the 
rival governments and collectors of Europe and America, no one 
would be surprised should it sell for ten times its cost price ; and if 
that at all approach the measure of its value, the Academy, in trans- 
ferring it to the State, will go far to recoup the whole amount of 
all the subsidies it has received from Parliament, amounting in the 
entire to little more than sixty thousand pounds, during the ninety-six 
years of its existence. 

The credit of having accumulated it rests with Council and with 
successive Committees, backed by the ever-ready liberality of the 
Academy and its friends. The late Sir William Wilde was one of the 
most energetic of its promoters. He gave the gratuitous labour of 
years to its arrangement and cataloguing. If, when it goes to its 
new place of deposit, a bust of Wilde could be procured, to accompany 
it with the bust which we ali'eady possess of its chief founder, Petrie, 
it would be a gratification to those who witnessed his labours, and 
some small acknowledgment of the debt which his country owes him 
for services rewarded hitherto only by the memory of their value 
preserved among his old colleagues, and vaguely recognized by the 

It has been stated in an Archseological Journal of authority that, 
since Sir William Wilde's death, the antiquarian collections here have 
fallen back into the chaos from which he rescued them. I give the 

Fergl'SON — Address delivered before the Academy. 191 

most express denial to that statement. In the transfer and new 
deposit of our Museum which has been made since it ceased to benefit 
by Sir William "Wilde's services, his arrangement, so far as it had 
gone, was piously preserved ; every object he had recorded was iden- 
tified with its place in the Catalogue and in the old Registers, and 
keys connecting the new and old places of deposit were made out with 
the utmost particularity for them all. Since then there have come 
into the house upwards of four thousand objects, every one of which 
at the time of its acquisition has been entered in the new Register, 
with particulars of place and circumstances of finding, wherever these 
could be ascertained ; and for all objects which may come in, pending 
the transfer, like entries will be continued. If the Department should 
desire to prepare, for its own information, an authentic account of 
the commencement and progress of the Collection up to the time 
of transfer, I do not doubt that the Council will willingly give access 
to the Minute-books and documents from which the facts may be 

Another part of the arrangement contemplated at the time of the 
Academy assenting to the transfer of its Museum was, that it should 
change its abode to Leinster House, where suitable apartments should 
be provided for it. We have, at all times since our foundation, been 
provided by the State with a house — first, in our old residence in 
Grafton- street ; afterwards, in the fine old mansion, altered and 
enlarged for our purposes, in which we are now assembled. Speaking 
for myself, I own that the prospect of that arrangement being altered 
to a kind of tenemental occupation, even in a much superior building, 
is not a pleasing one. The Royal Dublin Society will always, I trust, 
be a body of sufficient numbers and consideration to occupy to advan- 
tage so much of its old palace as may not be required for Depart- 
mental purposes ; and I think I express the general feeling of the 
Academy in saying that, while we wish the Sister Society the fullest 
enjoyment of that honourable position, we desire on our own part to 
remain self-contained in our lodgings, as we mean to keep ourselves 
independent in our pursuits. Should this prove to be the sense of 
the Academy when the time shall come for carrying out all the 
terms of our compact, we will have strengthened our claim to the 
most favourable consideration of Government for any wishes we may 
then entertain, by services still further enhancing the value of what 
we contribute. 

There have been great delays in providing the intended Museum 
Building ; and further delay is likely to arise from what seems, at the 
present moment, to be a miscarriage in the design. Certainly it has 
not been by reason of want of time that your Council and the Boaixl 
of Visitors have remained to so great an extent unconsulted. Had 
either Body been taken into the confidence of the Department to the 
extent of inviting its views as to space and lighting, the possible 
miscarriage, which is likely to leave our Collections here for some 
time longer, could hardly have taken place. It appears to have 

192 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

arisen from an improvident allocation of a part of the ground at the 
disposal of the Department, which could not be made to yield the 
extent of area required, save by the sacrifice, more or less, of equally 
requisite light. If the matter be re-opened, I earnestly hope that 
the Lord President of the Council, who is also, in his Excellency's 
exalted capacity of Viceroy, our Visitor, will see that your Council 
and the Board of Visitors, on which Sir Eobert Kane and the Provost 
of Trinity College, with myself, represent you, shall have an oppor- 
tunity of stating their views, to be considered by the Department 
before giving their next instructions for the guidance of the Architect. 

We desire that the new Museum may be entirely successful. We 
wish well to all the operations of the Department, and welcome its 
oflS.cers amongst us The presence of a number of gentlemen of the 
ability and accomplishment adequate to imparting knowledge so varied 
and valuable is a solid advantage both to the Academy and to the 
Eoyal Dublin Society ; and it needs but the observance of that consi- 
deration due by public servants to Public Bodies, to ensure a co-ope- 
ration from us not only sincere but cordial 

Not very many years ago, a glance at the progress of Science 
within the Academy, and a statement of our position as regards our 
antiquarian Collections, would have nearly exhausted all that a Pre- 
sidential iddress, not aiming at anything beyond our immediate afPairs 
and prosjjects, could properly bring before you. ?or Polite Literature 
did not, by any means, at that time, occupy the large space it now 
does in our Proceedings. After the time of Dr. Todd, indeed, the 
work of carrying forward a purely literary and scholastic exploration 
of Irish historical and antiquarian sources devolved mainly on one 
man, who has been to us at once our Camden and our Usher — it is no 
disparagement to either great name to make the application. The 
Academy will readily understand that I speak of the Very Eev. Dr. 
William Eeeves. In his contributions to Irish learning ia our Trans- 
actions we have, laid up for the delight and instruction of scholars, 
an immense store of information, solid, accurate, scrupulously vouched, 
all conveyed with a grace and engaging directness unsurpassed by 
any other cultivator of those fields of knowledge, here or elsewhere. 
But the growth of philological study, and the labours of Zeuss in col- 
lecting from the Irish material of the Continental libraries the ele- 
ments of a vocabulary and grammar of the ancient language, had given 
a new value to our old Irish Books and a corresponding stimulus to 
Academic enterprise. Por I cannot employ a better word in describing 
the immense labour about that time entered on by the Council, in 
commencing the transcription in fac simile of our most ancient Irish 
manuscripts, and so placing them at once at the disposal of Conti- 
nental scholars. So great and so successful has our progress been in 
this vast work, that Mr. Gilbert, its most active originator, may justly 
be awarded a large share of the honour and thanks due to your Council 
and to the successive Committees by whom the transcription has been 
carried forward. Our Scribe, the last of an hereditary class, lived to 

Ferguson — Address delivered before the Academy. 193 

complete in this manner the reproduction of the text of the Books 
of TJidhre, Breac, and Leinster — the last, the property of Trinity Col- 
lege, which nohle Institution shared with us the expense of the tran- 
scription and publication. It has been edited by our colleague. Dr. 
Atkinson, whose prefatory survey of the contents reveals the greatest 
storehouse of middle-age Irish literature yet thrown open to scholars. 
Since the death of Mr. O'Longan we have been obliged to abandon 
the pen/«;c simile, and resort to the slower and more difficult process 
of photography, for the smoke-darkened and much-thumbed vellum of 
the Book of Ballymote, which we hope may be completed in about 
three years. The vellum of the Book of Lecan is comparatively clean, 
and we may look for its reproduction in a shorter time. Others no 
doubt will follow ; and it is not an over-sanguine forecast that, within 
the next ten years, the whole bulk of the old native Irish literature 
will be in the hands of scholars all over the world. 

But without an adequate Dictionary the progress of students in 
our Middle Irish material must be almost as slow and laborious as we 
may imagine Zeuss's to have been when he first began the interpreta- 
tion of his glosses. There are at the present time but a very few 
men — their names might be numbered almost on the fingers of one 
hand — to whom the older texts are plenarily intelligible ; and that, in 
every instance, only by the help of vocabularies of their own compil- 
ing. The Dictionaries we have are more unsuited for these texts than 
Johnson would be for Chaucer. If the word sought for should happen 
to be there — a rare contingency — it will, in most cases, be found dis- 
guised under an artificial spelling of its first syllable, according to a 
rule of what may be called "vocalic balance," devised since the 
language became confined to a section of the populace, and in their 
mouths underwent that process of structural degradation which makes 
the spoken Irish of the present day so ill-defined and slippery in its 
fluency. Whether and to what extent the Dictionary we require 
shall follow these Protean vocalisms, or shall give the words of our 
vellum manuscripts in their original forms, will be a question for the 
Editor to whose hands the preparation of material for the work has 
been confided by Council. A large mass of such material has already 
been accumulated. Windisch at Leipzic, and Zimmer at Berlin, have 
given their aid abroad. At home, the contributions of Dr. Whitley 
Stokes, whether in our Transactions or elsewhere, besides supplying 
examples of perfect English employed in racy and characteristic trans- 
lation, are all enriched with glossaries available for the compilation. 
Every Todd lecture delivered here by Professor Hennessy contributes 
supplies of the same kind. Under the direction of the Secretary of 
Council, a process has for a considerable time been in operation of ex- 
tracting every leading word in the old texts hitherto published, with 
enough of its context to verify its several meanings — a great under- 
taking, but not disproportionate to the larger objects we may reasonably 
hope to attain to through its instrumentality. Where we now have a 
few students, painfully making their way tkrough the/<?c similes, with 


194 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

the illusory and disappointing incumbrance, rather than aid, of our 
present Dictionaries, we may reasonably expect that then we shall 
have numerous scholars in all the chief seats of letters eager in the 
exploration of things as new, at least, in literature as were the con- 
tributions of the cloisters at the revival of learning. Fragments of 
Continental song and tradition may still remain unpublished in ob- 
scure repositories ; but all the solid literary documents of every country 
of Europe have been for centuries collected, annotated, and put to the 
uses of philosophic thought, save only those of Ireland. "What had 
been done for us in this direction, up to the time of our entering on 
our present Academic enterprise, was mainly the work of individuals. 
The name of Richard, second Duke of Buckingham, at whose expense 
O'Connor published his "Eerum Hibernicarum Scriptores Yeteres," 
ought always to be regarded with aifectionate gratitude by the Irish 
people. O'Donovan and Curry had added to it vast stores of exposi- 
tion, and many selected examples of new material ; but this under- 
taking of the Academy is the first systematic and comprehensive 
exploration of the whole field. 

"We cannot predict what may be the next surprise in Science. 
The Columbuses of physical philosophy are out on every sea, and may 
any day come in sight of new continents of knowledge ; though it is 
denied to us to foresee in what arc of the horizon these may present 
themselves. "We may, with more confidence, indulge an expectation 
of some results likely to follow from the Academy's Irish contributions 
to the European library, when they shall be completed. Among the 
first of these, I imagine, will be an accession of critical material for 
the illustration of classical and mediseval literature, drawing with it 
not impossibly supplemental additions to Du Cange. I fancy if anyone, 
moderately well read in what we possess already, were to take up a 
good digest of the manners and customs of the ancients — let us say the 
" Geniales Dies " of Alexander ab Alexandre, one of the most agree- 
able companions of a thoughtful leisure — he would not fail to find 
many unexpected analogies and elucidations. The old Geography of 
the British Islands would also, I think, catch more than a passing 
beam from the new light. Perhaps, also, a nearer view of the obscure 
roots of old German and Scandinavian literature may be looked for in 
these insular offshoots from the common stem. To say that lost 
Classics may be recovered would be too sanguine a surmise ; but it is 
certain that one of the latest of Dr. "Whitley Stokes's versions of mat- 
ter put before him by the Academy shows either a use of now unknown 
sources or a singularly daring and not probable reliance on mere in- 
vention ; and there seems reason to expect that the copious tracts on 
Alexander the Great contained in Leabhar Breac may be found to 
some extent of the same character. "What light may be thrown on 
general Continental literature in later than mediaeval times may be 
judged of by the instructive example of Mr, Hennessy's publication 
of the old tract from that volume, the Vision of Mac Conglinde. "We 
all know the peculiar style which characterizes the school of Rabelais. 

Ferguson — Address delivered before the Academy. 195 

Eut, the Eabelaic style, was it a creation of the witty Breton, or de- 
rived from elder humourists ? That it had some Celtic connexion was 
a current opinion ; and that the Arthurian Cycle and an infusion of 
the Celtic taste had been carried into Italy before the date of its sup- 
posed likeliest prototype, the Morgante Maggiore of Pulci, appears 
sufficiently clear. But there the history of the Italian literary renais- 
sance leaves the inquiry ; and so the subject rested up to the time of 
Mr. Hennessy's publication. The "Vision of Mac Conglinde purports 
to deal with an amusing adventure which befell a personage named 
in Irish annals of the eighth century. Its language and internal 
evidence refer it, not improbably, to the ninth or tenth ; and it is, in 
spirit and in form — in everything, indeed, but indecency, from which 
it is free — a most absolute Eabelaic performance, by many centuries 
older than any other composition of the same school known to literary 

But, unless the diffusion of these new materials result in some- 
thing more solid and socially influential than pure criticism, the object 
which has animated so many minds in accumulating and preserving 
them will be but imperfectly attained. For, if there ever was a legi- 
timate patriotic hope at the bottom of scholastic effort, it animated the 
men who brought these things together and put them in their present 
posture and capacity for use. That this country should be without 
an adequate History and without a characteristic Literature rising 
above the conventional Irish buffooneries, has been a source of pain 
and humiliation to educated Irishmen for generations ; and it is to the 
stimulus of that reflection, not less than to the love of letters for their 
own sake, that we owe what we have accomplished, and the prospect 
of all that we yet may achieve. So far as concerns a general History 
of the country, we must, probably, be content to let the work for the 
present rest in preparation and ' material. If the time had arrived 
when Ireland could be said to have taken one or other definite posi- 
tion, from which her past could be contemplated in distinct, unshifting 
perspective, we might be more impatient of delay. But it seems to me 
that no great History of any country has ever been written from any 
but a fixed point of contemplation, not attainable in transitional times, 
such as ours for so great a length of time unhappily have been. 
Essays, having much of the solidity and dignity of history, may be 
framed in this view and in that, according to the point the writer 
would desire to see become the fixed one ; but till some pause in the 
ever-oscillating course of our destiny shall take place, a philosophic 
retrospect, on a large scale, of Irish affairs is hardly to be looked for. 
It is true, the history of even the most fortunate countries must be a 
record of flux and reflux, but the season in which the Historian achieves 
his work is, I fancy, at high tide. 

Our historic material prior to the Conquest, if we except a few 
tracts of positive and solid character, is of two kinds, each widely dif- 
fering from the other. There is a great mass of bardic matter, vague, 
diffuse, and rhetorical, which, though it indicates the tone and colour 

196 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

that ought to pervade the composition, affords but a slender handle 
for orderly investigation. On the other hand, we have an almost 
equal amount of annalistic matter, exact, certain, and reliable, but 
concerned in events too minute and disconnected to afford enlarged 
historic generalizations. Such as it is, however, in the hands of a 
philosophic observer there can be no doubt of its capacity for yielding 
a general prospect that even now might be entertaining and not unin- 

For the post-Plantagenet times great accessions have been con- 
tributed by the Record Publications of the Master of the Eolls in 
England, by the Record Office here, and by the Historic Manuscripts 
Commission. "We will, I think, deceive ourselves if we imagine any 
very great store of high historic material for this period to remain 
unpublished. Copious essays might now be written, ia addition to 
those we already have, on the chief epochs and turning-points of the 
Irish post-Conquest story. The times of the Hiberno-jN^orman lords 
Palatine, with their several semi-regal Chanceries, Courts, and Esta- 
blishments, would supply one fruitful subject; the invasion of Bruce 
and its Hibernicising effects, another ; the reaction of the Ulster and 
other Plantations, a third : but, to combine in one consistent prospect 
the overthrow, the recuperation, and the ultimate fusion, or counter 
process of absorption, as the case may be, of the old Irish race, in- 
volves, I think, the necessity of waiting through an indefinite time, 
till some one permanent result shall give the historian a definite base 
for his survey. 

Erom the contributions, however, which we can make to general 
Polite Literature, we may expect something in the nearer future. We 
can contribute a material barbaric, it is true, but as magnificent and 
as fresh as was the story of the house of Atreus when it first came 
into the hands of the Greek poets and tragedians. Older and ruder, 
though in one sense less coarse, than the Mebelungen Lay, it may 
effect for the literatm'e of our day what the Lay and its associate 
school of song has done for Germany. The highest geniuses — epic, 
dramatic, musical — have always sought for something from earlier 
sources on which to hang theu' fij'st conceptions. Such aids, at the 
present day, are hard to be found among the much-triturated elements 
of English literature. We are not in a position to despise any acces- 
sions of that kind from any quarter, and, after having collected all 
that can be gathered from abroad, ought to rejoice at the prospect of 
being able to turn with unexpected relish to something capable of 
being supplied at home. It is no answer to say, these offerings con- 
tain much that is intrinsically jejune, or ugly, or barbarous. The 
origins of the best Classic literature lie among matter as crude — I 
might even say as revolting — as anything in old Irish or old Welsh 
story. Mere raw material, however, to be converted to the uses of cul- 
tivated genius, is not all we may reasonably hope for from such sources. 
There are ways of looking at things, and even of expressing thought, 
in these deposits of old experience not to be lightly rejected by a 

Ferguson — Address delivered be/ore the Academy. 197 

generation whose minds are restless with -unsatisfied speculation, and 
the very clothing of whose ideas begins to show the polish of thread- 
bareness as much as of culture. 

But although some of the finest intelligences of our day have been 
attracted to this field, and still hover about it, the subject does not 
commend itself to acceptance in literary centres. A man whose educa- 
tion has been completed at a University does not care to learn a new 
language and a new Classical Dictionary with a view merely to the 
expression of critical opinion for an audience at present but limited in 
number and probably better read in the subject than he is. To illus- 
trate what I mean, let me revert to the Vision of Mac Conglinde. 
Although published in a widely-read organ of taste and information, 
it never, so far as I know, received the slightest notice in any work 
of criticism, or Chair of Letters in any of our Universities ; and the 
origin of the Rabelaic school of humour continues, I believe, to be 
authoritatively referred, as before, to the Italian renaissance. It would 
appear, indeed, as if, as regards the Irish subject at large, there exists 
in the minds of the leading directors of intellectual opinion a mingled 
feeling of arrogance and apprehension, strongly obstructive to the ad- 
mission of this kind of literary reinforcement. The arrogance is, no 
doubt, bred of an habitual vilipending of things Irish, which we here 
lament and deprecate, but do not wonder at ; the apprehension may 
arise from a variety of considerations not properly examinable from 
this Chair or on this occasion, but may, at least, be deemed unphi- 
losophic in presence of the daily growth of what it will ultimately 
have to atone with and utilize. 

Eecent events have given to the older races in this country a con- 
siderable advancement in wealth and social status ; and it cannot but 
be that the change will excite a desire for, as it will increase the means 
of procuring, a higher literature of their own. As regards the rest of 
the population, including the bulk of the upper and educated classes, 
if they do not count as many generations to their first settlers and 
eponyyni, they are, at least as far as birth on Irish soil goes, most of 
them by many centuries more Irish than were the great-grandsons of 
Milesius — himself but the Strongbow of an earlier conquest. All of 
them have been here long enough to take root, and they have no in- 
tention of going out. They have imbibed, whether from social or from 
cosmical influences, an Irishism of their own, and assert their claim 
to a full participation in every honour that this country can confer on 
its children or they on it. They yield to none of their countrymen in 
the desire, and they greatly excel the bulk of them in the ability, to 
make Ireland once again a home of Arts and Letters. The works of 
this Academy can testify to what they have been able to achieve in 
that direction during nearly a century of patriotic endeavour. To 
their hands mainly has been committed the guardianship of the ma- 
terials out of which such a literature as I have been contemplating 
may be evolved ; and in their hands, mainly, the work of speeding 
that development now rests in this Academy. But all will depend on 

198 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

the preliminary accomplishment of a sufficient Dictionary ; and if that 
work be completed during my occupation of this Chair, I shall retire 
from it with feelings of high self-gratulation at having been partaker 
in a labour which promises such an accession of honourable distinction 
to my country. 

In carrying forward so many lines of exploration, on so many 
different levels, prosecuted as they are by so great a variety of methods, 
our chief difficulty is not so much the production of matter as the con- 
version of it to the current uses of learning : for our volumes, whether 
of Transactions, Proceedings, or Special Series, can only be issued at 
considerable intervals ; and we have no organ through which to notify 
our work at the time of its performance to the scientific and literary 
world. It is true authors of Papers receive a certain number of copies 
for their own distribution. But there is nothing more fastidious than 
the modesty of true learning. Men competent to the production of 
Papers of real value are quite above the arts of self-advertisement, 
even if there were not always some distrust of the value of matter so 
supplied to those who occupy the position of directors of contemporary 
thought. It cannot be expected that the gentlemen who are admitted 
at our Meetings as representing the Press, should possess the know- 
ledge necessary for appreciating the great variety of subjects, more or 
less abstruse, considered here. Council, however, has adopted a rule 
which, if strictly acted on, may to some extent lessen this difficulty, 
and allow at least the readers of the Dublin journals to know some- 
thing of the nature of the learned work going on amongst them — 
what it is about, and in what particulars it is that it proposes to 
advance knowledge. It is now our rule that leave to read a Paper 
will not be granted unless the complete manuscript, accompanied by 
an Abstract, be in the hands of the Secretary. These Abstracts, after 
the reading, are open to the inspection of visitors as well as Members, 
and ought to insure the Academy against apparent neglects which, I 
am sure, have arisen, not from unwillingness to aid us in our objects, 
but, I infer, from an inability, of which even well-educated men need 
not be asha7iiecl, to follow the drift and catch the cardinal points of the 
Papers : for these, if worth anything, will always task intelligence to 
follow and appreciate. 

Another instance in which the fastidiousness of learning em- 
barrasses the work of the Academy, is the administration of the 
Cunningham Fund. Men of mature knowledge, animated by the true 
philosophic spirit of exploration, whose contributions alone are of any 
value to us, will not condescend to competitions on set subjects. A 
subject may be set and successful results had, where there is the 
assurance that someone, impelled by an unsolicited genius, has made it 
his voluntary study, and will not recoil from the idea of a pecuniary 
reward ; but such occasions rarely arise, and are not in harmony with 
the theory of competition. After nearly ninety years of unsuccessful 
endeavour to apply the Cunningham Fund as the donor had intended, 
we, about five years ago, sought relief from the Court of Chancery. 

Ferguson — Address delivered before the Academy. 199 

The modified scheme, accorded us on that application, allows the 
income of the fund to be applied partly in honorary rewards for work 
done, and partly in the old manner of offering premiums for prize 
essays on subjects prescribed. Accordingly, two years ago, a prize of 
one hundred pounds was offered for an Irish Classical Dictionary of 
the names of persons and places commemorated in published Irish 
sources. A more acceptable and entertaining work could hardly have 
been desired. Abundant material exists for its compilation ; and there 
are not wanting scholars of adec[uate accomplishment for the task. 
But learning of the kind desired refused to come down into that 
kind of arena. We have had no competition, and the hundred pounds 
fall back into the Prize Essay Fund. It will be the duty of the 
Council to try some other subject in which, it may be hoped, know- 
ledge may not exhibit so much coyness ; but if it be found either that 
no competitors present themselves, or that such essays as may come in 
are merely made up pro re natd — as almost all competitive accomplish- 
ment is made up — this portion of the fund must go on accumulating 
until, at some future day, the Academy may find itself compelled 
again to ask for its application to purposes of real Academic useful- 
ness ; and Authority may at last recognize the fact that this Prize 
Essay Trust belongs to the class of cases which I might illustrate by 
supposing a bequest to light the city streets with oil lamps — a good 
and useful Charity a hundred years ago, but inapplicable to our present 
needs and means of illumination. 

The Prize Questions have hitheii:o been left to the Literary side of 
the Academy. The Committee of Science has never proposed any, 
from a conviction — I believe the result of long experience — that this 
is a mistaken way of trying to promote scientific knowledge, and that 
original investigation in that field is just as little at the beck of 
pecuniary enticement as it is in Literature, Archaeology, or Criticism. 
The Committee of Science, however, has imposed on it by the 
liberality — which, on the whole, may be deemed not unwise — of our 
Government, here as in Great Britain, the application of a fund, not 
awardable on competition, but bestowable by vote of the Academy, 
for aids in the promotion of Scientific Eesearch. A scientific investi- 
gation may, at one stage of the inquiry, have need of extended obser- 
vation, or of apparatus not at the command of any but rich men. 
The subjects at this stage are necessarily tentative, and there must be 
more or less of guess-work both in the applicant and the grantors. If 
the ultimate disappointments are more numerous than the successes, it 
is but what old experience might have led us to expect. But one 
success, really advancing useful knowledge, compensates for many 
failures. If challenged for our disposition of this Fund, we can say 
that, acting on the best advice our Committee of Science can give us, 
and proceeding in what seem the likeliest lines, we have not oftener 
been disappointed than others charged with the duty of like alloca- 
tions elsewhere. 

However stimulated — whether by little aids of this kind or by 

200 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

the splendid rewards of commerce and monojDoly, or by the unselfish 
solicitations of a pnre love of knowledge, such as animates our efforts 
here — Science every day advances in useful discovery. Eich as we 
are in acquisitions of this kind, made during the present century, we 
may still look for further vast advantages over past generations in the 
enjoyment of all the arts" and conveniences of life. Life itself seems 
visibly lengthened. Science, by the experimental study of the living 
tissue and of the atmosphere in which it exists, claims to have 
detected, and may ultimately intercept, the seeds of disease and 
untimely decay before they can reach their niduses of mischief in our 
bodies. Invention may aid Science any day in deriving mechani<?al 
power at first hand from the magnetic circulation of Jthe earth or air. 
Knowledge of the laws which govern the fertility of the soil and the 
serenity of the atmosphere may conduce to make human life easier, 
and bring down the high price which man must pay for leave to live. 
Still, the 

Audax omnia perpeti 
Gens Liiimana 

will remain the old sons of Adam, to whom the control of the ele- 
ments, if they could attain it, would be as nothing in real value 
compared with the control of their own desii'es and passions ; and for 
whose enlightenment in a higher wisdom than that of Calcidus or 
Quaternion — in the wisdom which makes life happy and beautiful, 
even if it be laborious — Philosophy and History and Poetry have 
been softening manners and gladdening the hours of leisure ever since 
the boon of letters was first bestowed on mankind. With these com- 
panions Science walked accompanied in the Grove of Academus, and 
walks still so accompanied in many of the first Academies of Europe ; 
and, if I have rightly divined your minds, I rejoice to believe that I 
am here as an exponent of your will that in the Royal Irish Academy 
they shall not be separated. 

Deane — On Quill Ahhey. 201 

XXXIV. — OjS" Qunf Abbey. By Thomis Newen^haju: Deake, M.A., 
E.H.A. (With Plate XIII.) 

[Read, January 23, 1882.] 

I:f offering the following ]N"otes on the Architecture of Irish Buildings, 
and Quin Abbey in particular, I trust the Academy will make allow- 
ance, not only for my shortcomings as an arch^ologist, but also for the 
cursory nature of my remarks with reference to particular buildings. 

Many of you may not be aware that it is only since the passing of 
the Act which disestablished the Irish Church, that a fund was set 
aside for the maintenance of certain buildings, which otherwise would 
have been in a more derelict condition than before. At first these 
ruins numbered but eighteen ; they have since been increased to one 
hundred and thirty-six, amongst which are some of the most interest- 
ing relics of antiquity in Ireland. It is even now a matter of regret 
that many others have not been included in the list, and that the 
movement so happily set on foot to rescue from ruin the faithful his- 
tory of the past, as set forth in Ireland's ancient buildings, is curtailed 
both as regards funds and also other limitations. 

The modus operandi with regard to repairs is as follows : — No eon- 
tractor is employed ; no palpable restoration is made ; nothing is done 
to a building which involves speculation as to design ; maiutenance in 
the strictest sense of the word regulates the operations ; earth and 
accumulated debris is excavated, affording in many instances most 
interesting results, not only as to the original plan of buildings, but 
also sure fijids of cut stone connected with the building in question. 

The study of a building under such cu'cumstances is most interest- 
ing — its whole story told, its various phases of restoration laid bare, 
its vicissitudes of sorrow and prosperity set forth, and the changing 
customs of its occupants identified. 

It would be useless in a short Paper like this to enter into the 
vexed questions of archaeology. At the same time I would draw your 
attention to a few convictions which have been strongly forced upon 
my mind. First, I have little or no doubt of the Christian origin of 
the Bound Towers. I^To one can examine the masonry of the Tower of 
Kilmacduagh, and compare it with the masonry of the end of the large 
church near to it, without coming to the conclusion that both are 
identical as to date, and are probably built by the same hands, I 
would di'aw attention to the Beport of 1880, which lies on your table, 
showing a section of this Bound Tower, and the very curious discovery 
of bones and other debris found within it. 

I am also of opinion that the various styles of Gothic architecture, 
as developed in England, arrived later, and were practised longer in 
Ireland. Also, whereas we find Eomanesque work as fine, if not finer, 


202 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

than elsewhere, early English, work and other styles do not display 
the same refinement as in England. 

It is particularly interesting to follow the work of the several 
bands of workmen, which no donbt moved from place to place. At 
Clonmacnoise (as a starting point) we find the same hands working as 
at Kilmacduagh in O'Hyne's Church, Xilfinora, and at Corcumroe ; 
and I feel sure that if the masons' marks were carefully compared, the 
workers at Cashel could be traced to Hoar Abbey, Athassail, and many 
other places. In Waterford, again, we can trace the influenee of the 
Welsh masons of Tintern Abbey — and thus from place to place may 
see how the ancient Freemasons carried on their work. 

The antiquity of foundation of various buildings is also interesting. 
Eew of those I have examined present homogeneousness of style ; 
amongst the debris of nearly all you find remains of twelfth century 
work and early English work down to very much later periods. The 
disregard and contempt of previous styles is as fully developed in Ire- 
land as elsewhere ; but I have observed — what is rare in England — a 
palpable imitation of an early style at a later period. Examine the 
arches and piers at Corcumroe with the iron character of the foliage in 
the capitals, and one can have little doubt that they have not the ring 
of the very early thirteenth century work. 

The hardness of the mountain limestone, which is mainly used in 
Irish buildings, has curtailed to a great extent the elaboration of 
detail and floridness of style ; but, on the other hand, it has led to a 
more careful study of proportion, and consequently there are few 
buildings in Ireland which have not a grace which many in England 

I can clearly trace four epochs of restoration — two in the Roman- 
esque period, one in the thirteenth century, one in the fifteenth, and 
a partial one in the seventeenth. 

The Romanesque changes are evidenced in Cormac's Chapel at 
Cashel, where it is clear the eastern end has been rebuilt ; and I think 
I can show that it had originally an apsidal end. At Dysart O'Dea, 
Co. Clare, very early Romanesque work has been used in the same 
style at a later period. At Ellmakedar the remains of an apse are 
also to be traced, and the chancel is of a later date than the body of 
the church. 

The thirteenth century work was generally distinct rebuilding. 

The fiiteenth century restoration consisted mainly in the addition 
of towers, transepts, and cloisters to the thirteenth century foundations. 

The sixteenth and seventeenth century restorations are very partial, 
but yet distinctive in character. 

Yery few traces of pavements are to be found in the churches. 
Slates, in the real acceptation of the term, are unknown ; but small, 
thin stones are used instead. Lead was very rarely used; stones 
overlapping each other formed the watercourses, and channels of cut 
stone took the place of what are usually termed flashings, where roofs 
abutted on towers or on other walls. 

Deane — On Quill Ahhey. 203 

Towers were generally covered by gabled roofs. 

Parapets were a fifteenth century invention. Almost all the thir- 
teenth century roofs had eaves, and the triple battlements with over- 
lapping stone gutters are entirely of fifteenth century origin. 

The fifteenth century restoration was florid in its character, tracery 
taking the place of lancet windows. It also partook of a military 

The sixteenth and seventeenth century restoration is characterized 
by the closing up of large windows, by filling them from the bottom, 
and curtailing them at the top ; evidencing a dread of external 
violence, and also poverty, in the reduction of the size of glazed 
windows. Many of the naves of churches were converted into con- 
ventual buildings by the introduction of floors and flreplaces, the 
choirs alone being used for the services of the Church. 

The west end of Cashel cathedral and Athassail, Co. Tipperary, 
are examples of semi-military abbeys. The latter (Athassail) is a 
splendid example. The abbey proper is of immense size and very 
pure thirteenth century work, and an Augustinian foundation. The 
nave is 117 feet long by 55 wide, inclusive of aisles; the choir 44 by 
26 ft. 6 in. A lofty tower and transepts, the enceinte, gates, bridge, 
provision for portcullis, and other defences all remain, and also the 
wine-cellars. At a future time I hope to lay before the Academy 
drawings of this remarkable building, which, I am happy to say, will 
shortly come under our hands, and that the danger of its utter de- 
struction, now so imminent, may be averted. It would be impossible 
in a short Paper, really intended to bring a particular abbey under 
notice, to trace the great interest attaching to the ruins of Ireland. 
It is a great pity so few measured drawings of them exist, and that 
their illustration is limited to the brief account given in the Annual 
Eeport of the Board of "Works. 

Quin, Quint, Quinchy (Plate XIII.), stands in the barony of 
Bunratty, flve miles from Ennis. According to the " Monasticon, " 
an abbey was founded here, a.d. 1278. The monastery of Quin was 
founded in 1402 for Franciscan friars, by Siodd Cam MacNamara, 
but Father Wadding places it 1350. In 1433 Pope Eugene lY. 
granted a license to MacNamara to place friars of strict observance 
in this monastery, and the same year, Macon Dale MacKamara 
erected this beautiful, strong building of black marble. Thus we 
find three dates — 1278, 1350, and 1433. I have no doubt the 
eastern end, choir wall, northern wall of nave, and the western end 
belong to the first — 1278. I should fix the transept and tower at 
1433, but I cannot recognise any detail by which to fix 1350. 

Edward I., Edward III., Henry YI. — The conventual buildings 
may in parts be later, but the main features of the building are as 
above. A glance at the plan will show you that outside the main 
walls of the abbey are the remains of a fortress, which for the moment 
we shall call IS'orman. The northern tower is in the best state of 
preservation ; the curtain wall exists ; the base of the southern tower 

204 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

is there. The south wall of the choir of the 1278 church is the 
southern curtain wall. The entrance to the northern fortress through 
the curtain wall still exists under the fifteenth century tower, and the 
quoin of the eastern end of the thirteenth century church stands in 
the middle of the western tower of the fortress. The question is — "Who 
huilt the fortress? It cannot have been built subsequently to 1278 or 
1433. The Norman invasion (Henry II.) was in 1171. Can it be 
possible that so formidable a building, surrounded by a moat, earth- 
works, etc., could have been built and also razed within a century, 
without a note of its existence being extant ? Discarding this idea as 
most improbable, we must look backwards to the time of Brian Borou, 
1002, and come to the conclusion that the fortress of which we now 
find the remains in connexion with Quin Abbey was erected prior to 
the Norman Invasion, thus indicating a period of civilization anterior 
to 1711, in which military requirements were well known, and stone 
castles of an important character built. 



Proc. R.I.A. Vol. II. Scries II. 



Tvrjt^ X C9XiA^ai>hn. 

Ferguson— On the " Confessio " of St. Patrick. 205 

XXXy. — On some Passages in- the "Confessio" of St. Paxeick. 
By SiK Samuel Feegtison', Q. C, LL.D., President. 

[Eead, June 11, 1883.] 

The Confessio of St. Patrick, especially that copy of it preserved in 
the Book of Armagh, is justly considered the most aiithentic memo- 
rial of our great apostle. Some years ago, having occasion to examine 
the text in connexion with the apparent allusion to Gaulish relations 
in the expression exagaUias, I was struck with some peculiarities of 
its style which seemed to indicate that the writer, having difficulty 
in expressing himself in Latin, conceived the thoughts which he had 
to translate into that language in some form of speech cognate with 
the Irish. One instance I already communicated to the Academy, 
where he employs the Latin sed as the equivalent of the Irish aclit, in 
its non-Latin sense of nisi, " save", " except". I propose now to 
notice some other examples of a like kind. 

Every reader of the Confessio is struck with the singular use of 
the verb intermitto in the passage where Patrick describes his escape 
from his master Milcu : " Et deinde postmodum conversus sum in 
fugam et intermissi hominem cum fueram vi annis". This is 
quite an unexampled use of intermitto, which, in regular Latinity, 
never means to "leave", to "quit", to "separate from", as the 
sense here, obviously suggested by the context, would require. But 
the Irish verb Ccx^jii^cAliAiin, inter-separo, expresses the same mean- 
ing by a periphrasis possibly more appropriate to the occasion than a 
simple use of the word relinquo. I only know the compound verb in 
its substantive form G-^'OA.p]XApA."6 or ecA-piXApAX), "separation" 
(O'D. in Suppt. to O'R., citing H. 2. 15, p. 516) ; but the one implies 
the necessary existence of the other ; and the intermitto of Patrick 
seems an evident endeavour to fit a Latin equivalent to that combination 
of Irish vocables. Sca~-i\aiiu and -pcA.otA.itn appear to be originally 
the same ; and the word to scale in the same sense is still a living 
expression in the JN^orth of Ireland, as in the sealing or breaking up of 
a congregation or of a school. In this connexion it may not be out of 
place to observe that, according to the version found in the Lives, the 
use of an expression importing some degree of mutuality in Patrick's 
separation from his master would not be improper. Eor the writers 
of the Lives deny that he was a runaway slave : they allege that he 
purchased his freedom, and did not take to flight till after Milcu had 
received the gold, and refused to perform his own part of the con- 

Proceeding in the narrative of his flight, Patrick goes on to say : 
" Et veni in virtute Domini qui viam meam ad bonum dirigebat, et 
nihil metuebam donee perveni ad navem." It may be doubted if a 
Latinist describing a going out from the country in which he was 

a. I. A. PROC, VOL. II., 8ER. II. POL. LIT. A>'D ANTIQ. 2 A 

206 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

writing would have made this iise of the verb venio; but there can be 
no question of the anomalous nature of the expression ad ionum. So 
strange an appearance do these words present in Latin that the Bol- 
landists readily adopted the spurious reading ad benam, conjecturing 
that the river Boyne was intended. The phrase has, however, been 
generally recognized by English translators as meaning "well" or 
" aright", and indeed justly so, though the fact does not appear to 
have been noticed that it is the literal Latin equivalent for the words 
50 mxMu or CO m^^t, the Irish form of expressing the same idea. 

In the ensuing part of his narrative, after describing the incidents 
of his embarkation, and arrival in some other country, in which he 
appears to have experienced various hardships of travel and of re- 
newed captivity, covering an ill-defined period, the writer finds 
himself again at home with his family among the Britons : " Et 
iterum, post paucos annos, in Brittanis eram cum parentibus meis 
qui me ut filium susciperunt." The expression in Brittanis means 
" among the Britons", not " in the Brittanias", as would be signified 
by the form in Brittaniis, which is the reading of the amplified and 
later copies. The distinction, although a delicate one, has strong 
relevancy to the present inquiry ; for in Brittaniis " in the Brittanias" 
would possibly, if we may accept the authority of some texts of 
Catullus (carm. sxvii.), be a regular Latin form, though the mss. 
differ so much as greatly to detract from the force of Dr. Lanigan's 
use of the example (vol. i. p. 118) ; whereas in Brittanis is peculiarly 
the Irish idiom in which a country is designated by the tribe or 
national name of its inhabitants, as in the scholium on the hymn of 
Eiech, where, glossing Eiech's statement that Patrick was born in- 
nemthur, that is, in ISTemthur or Emthur, the scholiast adds, Cathair- 
sein feil imbretnaih tuaiscirt Ailcluide. " This same city is in [among] 
the northern Britons, that is, Ailclyde'''' or Dunbarton (Lib. Hymn, 
fo. \5 a). Consequently, the same inference as in the previously 
cited cases would arise here also. 

But whether the phrase be i7i Brittannis or in Brittaniis, if it were 
used by an Irish writer, there will emerge in connexion with it a 
consideration of some moment as affecting the age of the composition 
itself. If scientific philology have not been led, in its phonetic back- 
reckonings, into premature generalizations, this coupling of the pre- 
position in with a dative rather than an accusative is characteristic 
of what is called Middle as distinguished from Old Irish ; and the 
presence of such a form of expression here might disincline some 
enlightened minds from the belief that it could have proceeded 
from so early an epoch as the fifth century. "Whatever grammatical 
difficulties of this kind may attend the inquiry, they will have to be 
balanced against extraordinary evidences of the genuineness of the 
Confessio, afforded not only by the fact of its early transcription {cir. 
A.D. 800) from a book even then in parts illegible from old age, and 
reputed to have been written by Patrick's own hand, but, in a still 
higher degree, by the flavour of earnestness, truthfulness, and sim- 

Ferguson— Ou the " Confessio " of St. Patrick. 207 

plicity which hreathes from all the composition, made even more 
persuasive by its inartificial and confused construction. 

But for the additional matter supplied by the later copies, it would 
be extremely difficult to understand the purport or relevancy of some 
passages of the original. Whatever be the right opinion touching its 
equal authority, there can be no doubt that it gives such a degree 
of cohesion and consecutiveness to some of the scattered hints conveyed 
by the older copy, and is, in style and sentiment, so much in harmony, 
that it ought not to be passed by in this examination. 

There is one specially obscure passage in the original in which 
reference is made to a writing intimating some personal dishonour : 
" Yidi in vissu noctis scriptum erat contra faciem meam sine honore." 

With the aid of the supplemental matter it may be collected that 
an imputation on St. Patrick's good name had been made in some 
assembly of seniors, held in Britain in his absence, and that some one 
who had been instrumental in designating him for the Episcopate had 
taken an unfriendly part towards him on that occasion. This seems to 
afford a key to the meaning of " contra faciem meam " in the original. 
It is in fact word for word the Latin equivalent of the idiomatic 
Irish phrase in Ag^it), "against my face," "in opposition to me," 
the phi'ase by which an Irish-speaking person might properly refer 
to the presentment of a written accusation ; and this also may help 
to explain the words next following in the original: " Et inter hasc 
audivi responsum dicentem mihi Male audivimus [contra] faciem de- 
signati nudato nomine," as meaning " We are ill-styled in this script 
against one described by his naked name." But I do not profess to 
account for the use, in the later copies, of the expression in reference 
to the same proceeding, " Et quando temptatus sum ab aliquantis 
senioribus meis," where tempto seems to be used in the sense of 
assailing or impeaching, though this also might be reconcilable if 
examined by a competent Irish scholar ; but I incline to the belief 
that temptatus is written per incuriam for tentatus, which would be 
good Latin in the same sense. 

This supplemental matter also furnishes what possibly may be an 
example of the characteristic transposition of the pronoun in Irish 
syntax. The writer regrets his inability, consistently with his duties 
to his country, to journey, as he would have desired to do, to Britain 
as to his country and parents, and even further yet, to Gaul, to visit 
the brethren and see the faces of the Lord's saints ; and says, yet not 
I it was [who yielded to this sense of duty], " sed Christus Dominus 
qui me imperavit ut venirem esse meum illis residuum setatis mese," 
where " illis " may answer to the infixed pronoun in some equivalent 
Irish sentence. 

There are some other Latin peculiarities which, if they could be 
explained by Irish analogies, might actually contribute facts left un- 
explained in the Confessio. As, where the writer says his father, 
" fuit vico Bannavem," the Latin leaves it doubtful was he de vice, as 
of that residence, or in vico, as there by a chance sojourn, which would 

208 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

have a material bearing on the much- canvassed note of the scholiast on 
Fiech ; and again, where he says at the close of the piece, " sed precor 
credentibus et timentibus Deum, quicumqiie dignatus fuerit inspicere 
vel recipere banc scrip turam quam Patricius precator, indoctus, scilicet 
hiberione conscripsit, ut nemo," &c., the Latin leaves it doubtful was it 
in Siherione, or de Siherione, was meant by the writer, in which latter 
case the Confessio, apart from the supplemental matter, might be 
regarded as addressed to external readers. 

Supposing, however, that it were established never so clearly that 
Patrick, in writing his Latin, thought in Irish, there would be nothing 
surprising in the fact, and indeed, considering his long residence among 
the people using that language (he writes in his old age " in senectute 
mea"), the use of their speech might well have become habitual and 
even natural to him, while some other speech or dialect of his youth 
and early manhood might, it is possible, have been forgotten or dis- 
used. His own statement, however, in that respect is hardly con- 
sistent with the latter idea : " l^am sermo et loquela nostra translata 
est in linguam alienam," where he gives no hint of ever having used 
any but the one language and idiom. 

Knowles — On Flint Implements. 209 

XXXYI. — Flint Implements from the Raised Beach at Laene and 


Knowles. (Plates XIY. and XV.) 

[Read, June 11, 1883.] 

I WISH very briefly to draw attention to a series of flint implements 
which I have obtained from the raised beach at Lame, and similar 
deposits at other places along the adjoining coast. 

Various authors have referred to the "worked flints" of the 
raised beaches in their writings ; but there seems to be a difference of 
opinion regarding these flint objects, some calling them " palaeolithic," 
and others "neolithic"; but the weight of opinion is decidedly in 
favour of the latter.^ There is also a difference of opinion as to whether 
the worked flints are found mixed np with the gravel of the raised 
beach, or only scattered over the surface ; but any attentive observer 
will have no difficulty in finding, even in the deepest section, that the 
flints extend to the lowest layer. I can refer to flints in my col- 
lection, showing human workmanship, which I obtained at different 
times during the past ten years at depths of eight, ten, and twelve 

The raised beach at Larne, as described by Mr. HuU,^ is elevated 
fifteen to twenty feet above high-water mark. Good sections of it can 
be seen near the harbour where the railways pass through it, and 
also on each side of a new street which has recently been opened. 
Along the shore of parts of Island Magee, the coast northwards from 
Larne, and on both sides of Belfast Lough, there are remains of simi- 
lar implement-bearing gravels, but all these have suffered greatly 
from denudation, and the gravels with the worked flints which they 
contained are now spread over the present shore. The material thus 
spread out has afforded excellent opportunities for examination, and 
several implements have been obtained from it. 

As far as I am aware, all the objects which have been hitherto 
found in the raised beach, and described as implements, were in reality 
only flakes — artificially produced flakes, no doubt, but not specially 
dressed into any form of implement f but several members of the 
Ballymena Naturalists' Field Club have made these old beaches a 
special study during the past year, and have succeeded in obtain- 
ing a considerable number of implements of a higher character than 
the mere flake. I may mention the Rev. Canon Grainger, M.R.I. A., 
and Rev. George Raphael Buick, M.A., as being the most active 
members in making these researches. Mr. Buick, who had favourable 

1 William Gray, M.E.I. A., Belfast Naturalist Field Club Report, 1876-1877. 
Edward Hull, M.A., F.R.S., Physical Geology and Geography of Ireland, 'p^. 110, 113. 
William Gray, M.R.I.A., Royal Historical and Archaological Association of Ireland, 
4th ser., vol. 5, July, 1879. John Evans, D.C.L., F.E.S., British Association 
Report, 1878, p. 522. 

2 Physical Geology and Geography of Ireland, p. 110. 

^ The objects found by G. V. Du Noyer, M.E..I.A., and which I have seen 
in the Royal College of Science, are not what I should call di'essed implements. 

210 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

opportunities for visiting Lame, was very diligent, and collected 
a fine series of implements, including a magnificent scraper, the 
largest I have ever seen. These, I think, he intends to describe 
and figure, and I shall therefore in any references I make con- 
fine myself chiefly to those objects which I have found myself. 
I had obtained an implement from the gravel of the raised beach 
as far back as 1873, and several other objects having the character of 
implements, since that period ; but being spurred into greater activity 
by Mr. Buick's exertions, I have given the subject closer attention 
than usual during the past twelve months, and have not only gained 
a much clearer insight into the nature of the raised beach, but have 
added to my collection nearly one hundred implements. 

Taking a general survey of the remains of the raised beach where 
it is spread out over the present shore, one is struck with the abun- 
dance of cores and flakes ; but on looking for hammer-stones, of the 
kind usually got among the flakes and cores of other flint factories, 
they cannot be found. This absence of quartzite hammer-stones has 
struck several observers, and various theories have been advanced for 
their absence. I did not give this matter any special study until 
Mr. "Worthington G. Smith, F.L.S., M.A.I., who has investigated river 
terraces in England, and discovered ancient palaeolithic floors and 
sites of manufactories, and found also an absence of hammer-stones, 
wrote to me for some specimens to distribute among workmen as 
examples. The subject being thus pressed on my attention, I made a 
thorough search among the cores and flakes at Larne, without being 
successful in finding any undoubted specimen of the characteristic 
quartzite pebbles with abraded ends, but I observed a considerable 
number of pear-shaped flint stones, which had received a considerable 
amount of flaking, and yet could not be described as cores. The real 
core had one constant character. Before the flint-worker commenced 
striking off a succession of flakes, the flint pebble he intended to work 
with was evidently first severed by a blow across its shorter axis, and 
from the flat freshly-broken surface the flakes were struck off at right 
angles ; but the pear-shaped stones were very frequently nodules with 
a rounded or dressed butt, filling the hand well, and having small 
flakes radiating from the point. From experimenting with similar 
stones as hammers, I found small flakes were dislodged at the place 
where I struck ; and this, taken in connexion with the fact that some of 
the smaller ends were more or less bruised, forced the conclusion on my 
mind that these were the hammer-stones used by the Larne flint- 
workers. I communicated this fact to Mr. Worthington Smith, and 
when visiting London in the autumn of last year I brought to him some 
of these implements, but he informed me that he had not at that time 
seen anything like them. In reply to a letter which I recently wrote 
to him on the subject, he says : — "As for the Larne hammers, and 
similar stones in gravel, I believe you are quite right." He has since 
found three quartzite pebbles with bruised ends, but "can always find 
rude nodules of flint showing probable traces of hammering." This 
opinion I look on as of very great value, as Mr. Worthington Smith 
has had much experience, having collected upwards of one thousand 


Knowles — On Flint Implements. 211 

palaeolithic implements from the river gravels of England and different 
parts of the world. 

The other implements which I have found are all rudely formed. 
I have a number which are pear-shaped, somewhat of the nature of 
the hammer-stones already described, but more pointed. Implements 
of this kind have been formed out of longish nodules of flint, some- 
what cylindrical in shape, and often having a natural point, the 
amount of dressing being a minimum. The butt, where it did not 
fit the hand in the natural state, was neatly dressed, and a point was 
formed at the opposite end by striking off a few flakes. The body of 
the implement shows the natural outside coat of the nodule from 
which it was made ; bu.t any prong-like projections which came out 
from the surface have been neatly dressed olf. Sometimes a natural 
point has been allowed to remain, and only projecting portions struck 
off. The largest of these are from six to seven inches long, and 
from six to eleven inches in circumference. There are others three 
and four inches long, but all are thick and plump, never flat and 
thin, as in some palgeolithic implements. I believe that the majority 
of such implements would be passed by as not implements at all by the 
inexperienced observer. It is only when a series can be seen together 
that all doubts are removed from the minds of the sceptical. Fig. 1, 
Plate XIV. shows one of the smallest of these. It has one cutting 
edge and a point, and a shorter cylindrical body than the larger imple- 
ments. There are, however, other implements which are better dressed. 
Some are of the kind known as shoe-shaped, are rudely triangular in 
section, having a thick butt, and pointed at the opposite end. There are 
still other implements among the series which I have found, which have 
both ends pointed, and many of the implements found by Mr. Buick are 
of this kind. These are oval, or longish-oval, but the points are often 
much blunted from use and rolling in water. Pointed implements 
seem to have been chiefly in demand with these ancient flint-workers, 
sharp edges being seldom found in any of these pear-shaped imple- 
ments. Half pebbles and large flakes, sometimes more or less dressed, 
probably formed the cutting tools. The flakes are peculiar. We find 
them generally small at the bulb or cone of percussion, and thick and 
heavy at the opposite end. I have implements formed out of large 
fiakes of this kind by removal of a few flakes near the bulb. The 
flakes found inland are generally, on the contrary, stout at the bulb, 
and taper to a nice spear-like point. 

Those implements which are dressed all over have as a rule been 
formed by a very few blows, and these have often been unskilfully 
directed, as we frequently find that a flake has dipped so deep as to 
spoil the symmetry, and consequently some of the implements have 
a crooked appearance. Pig. 2, Plate xiv., which I may say has a great 
likeness to a shoe-shaped palaeolithic implement in General Pitt-Rivers' 
celebrated anthropological collection, is of this kind. Pig. 4, Plate xv., 
has a great likeness to some palaeolithic implements ; and Pig. 3, 
Plate XV., though in form somewhat like some neolithic flint objects, 
shows very rude workmanship. All the implements found at Larne 
show a coarseness of manufacture which is not seen in other 

212 Froceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

implements found inland in the north of Ireland. If rudeness of 
workmanship be taken as a test of their age, I would say that 
these were the first efforts of man at forming flint tools, and that 
they were much older than the finely-finished implements of the 
palaeolithic age found in the English and Continental river-gravels. 
I have one pointed implement, of the kind which comes nearest to 
some of the spear-shaped objects of neolithic age, found at Holy wood, 
Co. Down, which shows the style of workmanship I refer to. It is 
four and a-half inches long, and one side is finished with three or four 
bold strokes. It has not suffered much from rolling, as it was found 
embedded in the stiff red clay, and has been stained all over a deep 
reddish brown, which gives it a very handsome appearance. (See 
Fig. 5, Plate xv.). 

The flakes, cores, and implements, as seen in sections of the raised 
beach, show signs of having been exposed on the shore for a long time 
previous to becoming embedded among the gravel. They have under- 
gone rolling on the beach, and are covered even to the small flakes, 
which were evidently dislodged by striking against other stones, by a 
white, deep, porcellanous cnist. As far as my experience goes, this 
crust only forms on flints that are exposed for a considerable time, 
and not on those which are buried up after being broken. I have 
found flints in other places which have the porcellanous crust on the 
exposed side, and are comparatively fresh on that which rested on 
the ground ; and I have in my possession palEeolithic implements 
showing the one side much more deeply encrusted than the other; but 
the flints of the raised beach are crusted all over, and much more 
deeply than the flints of other parts of Ireland, or indeed than any 
palaeolithic implements I have ever seen. 

I conclude therefore that the flint objects found at Larne and other- 
places where there are remnants of the old beach have lain exposed for 
along time, and have undergone much shifting and many changes before 
being included in the mass of gravel. This, I think, would partly ac- 
count for the scarcity of bones in the formation, as the bones of the 
animals used as food would be too long exposed before being covered up 
to have a chance of preservation. I have made a very thorough search 
for bones, but without success, and I am therefore without any test of 
that kind in enabling me to come to a conclusion regarding the age 
of the implements. A Mammoth's tooth, now in the collection of the 
Rev. Canon Grainger, has been found in the neighbourhood, but 
it may have had no connexion with the raised beach. It was, 
however, found not far from the shore, near a place where remains 
of the old sea beach are still to be found. 

In taking a survey of the raised beach I find it extends at Larne 
for a considerable distance inland, and its surface is now made up of 
several large arable fields, some of them at this moment bearing a 
promising crop of wheat. I was induced from observing this to 
examine the soil, and found that it was not of the sandy or gravelly 
nature one would expect on a sea beach, but was made up largely 
of clay, and would be what I should call a clayey loam. The stones 
of the soil, besides the flints which are turned up to the surface, are 

Proc. R.I.A., Ser. II., Vol. II. 

Plate XIV. 

Fig. I. — Front view. f. 

;; ,4"'' ''' "Wi 

Fig. 2. — Front view. J. 

Fig. 2. — Edge view. 


Proc. R.I.A., Ser. II., Vol. II. Plate XV. 

Fig. 3- f- 

Fig. 4. 

Fig. 4 — Section. 


1^^ I 


Fig.S- I- 

Fig. 5 — Section. 


Knowles — On Flint Imjilements. 213 

ordinary basaltic stones, angular and unrounded, with, the rough, 
weathered, brownish crust, such as one sees in the soils which have 
been derived from the boulder clay further inland. In examining the 
upper layer of the beach I found it full of such rough stones, mixed 
with clay, and a question was raised in my mind as to the derivation 
of this soil, and the agency employed in bringing it there. The 
boulders and gravel in which the flints are embedded are heaped 
together in a most irregular manner, and, in the majority of sections 
I have had the opportunity of examining, there is a general absence 
of any stratified arrangement, such as would ordinarily be made by 
water. Turning all these matters over in my mind, the whole for- 
mation appears to me not to be a raised beach in the ordinary sense of 
the term, but rather something of the nature of an Esker which has 
received glacial matter on its surface at a time of submergence. If I 
am correct in the various suggestions I have made regarding the 
nature of this so-called raised beach, the term "paleolithic " might be 
too modest an application for these implements. They would pro- 
bably be the oldest implements not only in Ireland but in the British 
Isles. At the meeting of the British Association in Dublin, 1878, I 
stated that I thought there was reasonable suspicion that the Larne 
implements and other objects I exhibited were older than neolithic. 
By longer study I may say that I am the more confirmed in this 
view. Laying aside for the present the question of the nature and 
derivation of the deposit in which the flints are embedded, until I 
investigate the matter further, I believe the implements from the 
raised beach are not neolithic, for the following reasons : — - 

1. JSTeolithic implements are found scattered over the surface, and 
are frequently described as " surface implements," to distinguish 
them from the more ancient implements from the caves and river 
gravels. The implements found at Larne have not this character. 
They are not surface implements, but are found embedded in a forma- 
tion of gravel of considerable thickness. 

2. The form of the implements is not that of the objects which we 
have hitherto known as neolithic. 

3. The workmanship is different from that on undoubted neolithic 

4. The deep porcellanous incrustation ; and 

5. The ancient and primitive appearance of the implements them- 


Since reading the foregoing Paper the author has found in the neighbom-hood 
of Lame, in undisturbed boulder clay, an artificially-chipped object. He has also 
found another object, which he classes with the pear-shaped implements referred to 
in the Paper, having, as he believes, glacial scratching on an artificially-dressed 
surface. He has also found, not far fi'om Lame, eleven feet down in gravel, 
capped by thirty feet of boulder clay, two flakes with well-marked bulbs of per- 
cussion, and several objects having the character of cores. The author exhibited 
some of these objects in illustration of a Paper read before the Antkropological 
Department of the British Association, in September, 1883 ; and fuither informa- 
tion regarding them will be communicated to the Academy at an early date. 


214 Proceedings of the Royal Iriah Academy. 

XXXVII. — On Evidences oe the Plaj^ oe tke Cloisteb. Gaeth and 
MoNAsiic Buildings of the Peio'ry of the Holy Teinitt, now 
KNOWN AS Christ Qbjjrcu Cathedeal, Dtjblin. By Thomas 
Deew, E.H.A., Cathedral Aixhitect, 1882. (Plate XYI.) 

[Read, November 13, 1882.] 

The cloisters stood on the south side of Christ Church Cathedral, 
between the nave and the present railing in Christchurch-place. The 
abbey gateway stood exactly under the doorway of the present south- 
west porch, but some ten feet below it. The chapter-house stood 
seven feet to the south from the south transept. 

For many years the site and plan of the cloister garth and the 
surrounding monastic buildings, which must once have been a part of 
the Priory of the Holy Trinity, have been a matter of curious specula- 
tion to me. The church alone has survived to our time. I knew it 
all before llr. Henry Eoe's great restoration. Every detail of that 
restoration, with its marvellously interesting revelations of the church's 
former plan, was familiar to me, as all the church is now. I had read 
all that is known to be recorded of it, but without meeting the most 
slender clue to the histoiy or existence of the former subsidiaiy buildings 
of the monastic establishment. 

By Mr. George Edmund Street, E.A. (to whose marvellous instinct 
for the comparative anatomy, as I may tenn it, of a mediaeval building 
and profound architectural erudition we owe the re-creation of this per- 
fect and unique twelfth and thirteenth century church, from merest 
shreds of evidence) the site or plan of the monastic buildings was untraced 
and uninvestigated. I know this from the interesting account of the 
restoration penned by this great architect himself, and left unpublished 
at his death, the proofs of which, before its coming publication, it has 
been my privilege to read. It has been a matter of great interest to 
me, following, longo intervallo indeed, so great a master in the care 
of this cathedral, to alight upon some threads of evidence, not only to 
identify the site of the monastic buildings, but to trace theii' plan with 
a bold hand, leaving but little conjectural of what goes to fill in the 

I have long looked for even a hint to aid speculation as to whether 
the cloisters stood upon the north or south side of the church, as they 
indifferently do in the monastic plan. I inclined to surmise on the 
north, as nothing more unlikely than the south side as it exists, a steep 
declivity between Christchurch-place and the cathedral, as a site for 
the level of a cloister garth could have suggested itself. I had scarcely 
entertained a thought of looking for anything so improbable. How- 
ever there is preserved in the cathedral, by some happy chance, a 
comparatively modern document, a map and survey of the cathedral 
property, with a schedule, prepared by one John Sodding in 1761. It 

Drew — On Christ Church Cathedral. 215 

shows the old Four Courts, and the passage then colloquially known 
as "Hell," the Exchange, and, as the schedule quaintly sets forth 
among other things, "the place where the Stocks is" ;^ it delineated 
the many houses and small tenement holdings in Skinner-row, now 
swept away, and the two "yards" surrounded by shops and small 
booths intervening between these and the south side of the cathedral. 
Looking at Sedding's map, the last thing that would strike most 
people would be to develop the plan of a monastery out of it. Yiews 
of the cathedral from the south-east, given by Grose in 1791, and 
drawn as late as 1821 by George Petrie, give a rude notion of what 
the " Exchange " was. It is at once recognizable as a mediaeval groined 
building, and Sedding's schedule sets forth the chambers over it. I 
have no doubt those very ones olf ered by an advertisement in a Dublin 
paper of that time — 

' ' To let, apartments in Hell. 
N.B. — WeU suited to a Lawyer." 

Further information as to the " Exchange " was given me from a map, 
the accuracy and authenticity of which I cannot well doubt, from its 
internal evidence, although the sources from which it may have been 
compiled are a mystery. 

Bound up in Kelly's new (and uncompleted) edition of Arch- 
dall's Monasticon Hihernicum, vol. ii., is a map of Christ Church Cathe- 
dral and precinct, evidently not drawn for this work. The text has 
no reference to it, and the reference figures on it are sought for in the 
body of the work in vain as having any meaning. I have, however, 
ascertained that this map was intended for a work by William Monck 
Mason, never published. It would appear that his well-known history 
of St. Patrick's Cathedral was not intended to be a monograph, but 
the first instalment of a great and ambitious work, Sibernia Antiqua 
et Hodierna, heing a Topographical Account of Ireland, and a History of 
all the Establishments in that Kingdom, Ecclesiastical, Civil, and Monas- 
ticTi. 1 have the prospectus of the volume relating to Christ Church 
projected in 1819. This projected volume never saw the light, and 
the MSS. and raw material collected for it found their way to what 
is known as ' the Phillips collection, locked up from scholars at Chel- 
tenham. The steel plates intended for it were sold at an auction in 
London, bought by Mr. Kelly, and inserted passim in his new Monas- 
ticon Hihernicum, to adorn the work, merely. Mason's map gives the 
Exchange as a four-bayed groined building. 

It scarcely needs a glance from anyone acquainted with the typical 
monastic plan and its varieties to recognise this building as the ancient 
Chaptee-house in its usual and expected place with reference to the 
church. It stands east and west, about seven feet away from the south 
transept, and the views above referred to show us the monks' dormi- 
tories over it. The passage that intervenes between the chapter-house 

1 The Stocks are still preserved in the Cathedral 

216 Proceedings of the Royal Irkh Academy. 

and transept in Sedding's map gives, wtere one ■would look for it, the 
staircase by which the monks passed from their dormitories to the 
church. Knowing that the south transept had been greatly altered in 
1831, when the old door, brought from the north side, was inserted in 
the middle of it, I looked for a trace of the monks' door where it should 
be, and then found it plainly indicated by the built-in masonry to the 
left of the present doorway. Here were clues, absolutely determined, 
to point to the existence of cloisters on the south side. 

To the south of the chapter-house, in most monastic plans, one 
looks for the passage called the " slype." Here it is found clearly 
defined in the old plans, remembered by some still living citizens, and 
familiarly known by the more modern name of "Hell," even so far 
away as to Robert Burns. The lines have been often quoted : — 

' ' But tliis that I am gaun to tell, 
Which lately in a night befel. 
Is just as true as deil's in hell 
Or Dublin city." 

"We know that next to the "slype" would come the kitchen, or 
"calefactory", the day -room of the monks, its limits only wanting 
to be defined, and which Sedding's map suppKes when studied. 

This would have been all to be derived from Sedding's plan, but 
for another thread of evidence. I had occasion, in 1881, to cut a 
deep drain across the cathedral precinct, on the south side, and I 
looked with interest for the uncovering of part of the walls of the 
old Four Courts.- I found the walls where I crossed them exactly as 
laid down in Sedding's plan, but found a remarkable difference in the 
walls themselves. The east and west walls of the old Court of 
Common Pleas did not go down to a deep foundation, but were borne 
above the peat stratum on great beams or cradles of massive oak. The 
west wall of the King's Bench, however, was different. It was carried 
down to a greater depth, to the solid foundation beneath the peat, and 
was an enormously solid mass of ancient masonry. Here I recognised 
an ancient wall of the monastery. I also laid bare and ascertained the 
ancient level of the cloister garth, finding it about nine feet below the 
church floor, and nearly on the level of the floor of the crypt. This 
solved several problems of built-up doorways, steps, and approaches, 
which had puzzled everyone. The existence of a cloister garth at 
such a level, levelled for and scooped out in the side of a steep declivity, 
was unexpected. 

A practical mind will at once infer the existence of a great re- 
taining wall somewhere that would be required to keep back the 
overhanging bank on the south side. Sedding's map at once indicates 
it. A narrow yard, or area — say four or five feet wide — which may 

2 The Foui' Courts were built upon the site, and in part on the foundations of 
the monastic buildings and cloister garth by the Crown, in 1695 ; the Dean and 
Chapter receiving £10 per annum rent for the ground. The last remains of these 
were covered in about 1826. 

Drew — 0>i Christ Church Cathedral. 217 

l)e traced along the back of the houses in Skinner' s-row, described as, 
for instance : — 

"The precinct wall, serving as a backside to the houses of Mr. 
"Wingfield and Mrs. Parsons, in Skinner' s-row, and giving light to their 
back rooms." 

Thus I can trace the limit of the monastic buildings at the south 
side. I was disappointed to come on no remnant of the eastern pre- 
cinct wall, in what is now St. Michael's-hill, but Mason's map lays 
down its limit, and it exactly coincides with the line of the west side 
of Christchurch-lane, as it existed in 1761, about the centre of the 
present roadway. It is parallel with the ancient wall to the west of 
the King's Bench Court, before alluded to, so that here we have, with 
but little conjecture, the limits defined of the Doitus Conveesoetjm, 
sometimes known as the Common House, which we would look for in 
the usual monastic plan, and we recognise, under a misunderstood and 
corrupted name, the " Commons House" of Christ Church Cathedral, 
so often mentioned in records, where sundry parliaments were held, 
the last in 1559 ; not a " House of Commons," but the common house 
of the guests, postulates, and brethren of the monastery. 

Analogy of similar plans would lead us to look for the abbey Gate- 
way in the north-west corner of the group, and then we suddenly recall 
that we all remember it, unrecognised as such before the late restora- 
tion. There are photographs showing it extant. Little knowing 
that the cloister level lay nine feet under the surface of the soil, one 
did not recognise in the cellar-like arch above it the head of the 
Abbey Gateway. Its site was exactly under the doorway of the 
present south-western porch. A Gatehoitse lodge, or parlour, should 
have been about here ; my restoration of this feature is purely con- 
jectural. Assuming the precinct boundary to fix the width of the 
Common House, I conjecture it as arched in two spans, with a row of 
pillars down the centre, as would be most usual in such a building. 

For the Hefecxoky, I have only, I admit, such slender evidence as 
the precinct boundary well-defined, and the analogy of other monastic 
plans affords : we know from precedents that it should be traced here. 
Taking all the evidence which has been recited, and other minor 
corroborative hints which the old plans afford, one can sketch the 
cloister plan so far, but to find that there would not be room for 
the refectory to stand east and west in the usual way, between the 
south cloister walk and Skinner's-row. It could not have projected 
from the group standing north and south, as it does in other places ; 
because the limit of the precinct forbids. One then recollects the 
declivity of the ground, and that if it had been planned upon the 
same level as the cloisters, it would have been many feet below 
Skinner's-row, and that passers-by would have looked down into its 
chimneys. Everything points to the conclusion that the refectory 
was not on the ground level, but on that of the dormitories, and 
extended over the south cloister walk. Here, again, the plans give 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

faint indication of a passage next the kitchen, which would exactly 
serve in position for a staircase between the kitchen and refectory. 

The following are definitely or approximately the internal dimen- 
sions of the several parts of the plan : — 

Cloister garth and Cloisters, .... 76 ft. by 84 ft. 
East Side — Dormitory staircase leading to church, 25 ft. ,, 7 ft. 

Chapter-house, . 

42 ft. , 

, 20 ft. 

Slype, .... 

28 ft. , 

, 8 ft. 

Kitchen, ...... 

30 ft. , 

, 30 ft. 

South Side — Staircase, .... 

26 ft. , 

, 7 ft. 


75 ft. , 

, 33 ft. 

West Side — Common House, 

82 ft. , 

, 29 ft. 

Lodge, .... 

29 ft. , 

, 10 ft. 

Gateway, .... 

17 ft. , 

, 7 ft. 

Beyond the cloister walls, speculation can but vaguely follow the 
existence of the inferior buildings of the monastery. The broken out- 
line of the precinct suggests the projection' of square buildings, and 
one places the finger on the spot where the Iis^FZE^ rA KY would most 
likely be. A shred of evidence is, I believe, locked up in a term I 
cannot construe. Sedding, in his schedule of tenements, describes 
several of them in this wise, e.g.: — "23. Part of Coolfabiiis as a 
backside to Mr. Sillcock's house in Skinner' s-row." 

When I trace out the plots described as "Part of Coolfabius," and 
obliterate modem boundaries and walls, I find that this is a corner by 
the east wall of the kitchen, and under the great overhanging wall of 
the precinct. I believe I recognise in the name the Irish word, cuit, 
a corner, and I look with confidence to some better antiquary to 
interpret what this corner was.^ It is the spot where one would look 
for the offices of baser use ; the middens, privies, and great drain 
from the kitchen. 

Under the present green sward, between the railings of Christ- 
church-place and the church, antiquaries may assume the founda- 
tions of these buildings lie, and may yet be investigated. It may 
be a parallel for the discovery of a fragment of the cloister of old 
St. Paul's, which has led to the creation of a pretty garden in the 
heart of London, if we should some clay uncover some of our cloisters 
to be an object of interest in the city garden, which, I hope, may be 
created in the yard of Chi'ist Chrrch Cathedral. 

^ Dr. Joyce, on being consulted, is unable to form an opinion as to the mean- 
ins of tliis name. 

Plate XV.-Y^ 

saae \o f,r r ^ - 

^annexations tinted^ 2>lac/c exist, or 
'crumm. to 7iav& e^dsteci. 

Proc. R,l. Acad. Vol. 11.. Ser. IT. 

.i*'.«s^sa.. _C_«f— £r^^S£t. 

^ pdbf>a:run^'' 

Olden — On the Geographi/ of Eos Ailithir. 219 

XXXVIII. — On the Geogeapht of Eos Ailithie. By Eev, Thomas 

Olden, B.A. 

[Eead, February 26, 1883.] 

The geographical poem, which is found in the Book of Leinster 
(pp. 135, 136 of the Facsimile), is there attributed to Mac Cosse 
Ferlegind of Bos Ailithir, now Boss Carbery in the south-west of 
the county of Cork. Archbishop Ussher quotes several authorities as 
to the high reputation this school enjoyed at an early period ; and 
the name Bos Ailithir, or Boss of the Pilgrims, would seem to indi- 
cate that, in addition to native students, it was largely attended by 
foreigners. It is well known that natives of all parts of Europe 
north of the Alps came to Ireland for instruction ;' and this school, 
being on the sea-coast, and easily accessible from England and the 
Continent, must have had a large number. 

The Mac Cosse who is mentioned in the Annals of the Four 
Masters does not appear to have been the author of the poem, as his 
office was a different one ; but a passage in the Annals of Innisfallen, 
for which I am indebted to the Dean of Armagh, notices him. It is 
found at the year a.d. 972, and is as follows : — 

" The son of Imar left "Waterford, and [there followed] the destruction of Ross 
of the Pilgrims by the foreigners, and the taking prisoner of the Ferlegind, i. e. 
Mac Cosse-do-brain, and his ransoming by Brian at Scattery Island".^ 

Dr. 0' Conor, who edited the Annals of Innisfallen, translates his 
official title, Ferlegind, by prmlector ; but perhaps his position was 
rather that of head master, in whose charge the studies of the school 
were placed. As such, he was a person of importance ; and when the 
Danes carried him off, uo doubt they demanded " egregious ransom" 
from the benevolent young prince who redeemed him, and who was 
afterwards better known as the famous Brian Borumha. 

This entry helps us to ascertain the date of the poem ; for we 
may assume it to have been composed before the destruction of Boss, 
and therefore it could not have been later than a.d. 991,^ but it may 
have been much earlier, and we shall probably be near the truth if 
we assign it to the third quarter of the tenth century. 

It seems to have been the school geography of Boss ; and as so 
little definite is known of those early schools, a notice of it with a 

1 Remains of Rev. A. W. Haddan, p. 260. 

^ Mac Imar do deruch puirt lairg, ocus indreth Ruis Ailithir do gaUaibh, orus 
in fer-leghind do gab[ail] doib, i. e. Mac Cosse-do-brain, agus a chennach do 
briain oc inis Cathaigh. 

^ The Annals of Innisfallen are antedated by nineteen years in Dr. 0' Conor's 
edition, and the correct date is therefore 991. 

220 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

translaticn will be useful to those who desire to know on what grounds 
theii' reputation rests. 

It consists of one hundred and thirty-six lines in the usual metre 
of seven syllables, and may be described as a brief summary of the 
geography of the world ; in most cases giving only the boundaries of 
the different countries, with an occasional reference to some charac- 
teristic of the people or territory, and in a few instances a longer 
description. There is no allusion to the foim of the earth. To the 
north of Asia flows the great External Sea, which also stretches 
across the north of Germany, then the Kmit of Europe in that direc- 
tion. The eastern boundary of Asia is undefined. To the south, 
from India to Africa, is the Mare rubrum or Red Sea, of which the 
Persian Gulf and the present Eed Sea are inlets, and for this reason 
are not distinguished by separate names. The south of Africa is 
wholly unknown, and its coast is supposed to trend north-west fi'om 
about Cape Gardafui to Cape de Yerde, the shape of the Continent 
being nearly that of a right-angled triangle. On the west flows the 
Ocean, which appears to be the same as the External Sea. He begins 
by describing the five zones of temperature — 

In the body of the firm M"Orlcl are known 
Five equal zones marked out ; 
Two frigid of bright aspect, 
Two temperate around a fiery. 

This is the division given by Yirgil,* who took it from a more ancient 

The human race inhabits the north temperate zone, which com- 
prises the territories included within the seas already mentioned. It 
is divided into three parts — 

[There are] three parts of the world, "West and East, 
Three parts in which are Adam's seed ; 
Three parts which God divided, 
Europe, Africa, and Asia. 

The order in wliich the continents appear here is due to the neces- 
sities of the metre ; but in the geography it is reversed, Asia taking 
the first place — 

Asia, very good on every side, 

From the Queen it was named ; 

Asia was her name in the East, 

The woman who ruled over the Eastern world. 

It is much larger than the other continents, which is owing to 
this q[ueen having encroached on Europe and Africa — 

Asia, not insignificant ; in the East it is, 
Across t!ie eastern part of the temperate [zone] ; 
Almost half [the zone] took she by force 
From Europe and from Africa. 

* See p. 230, note a. 

Olden — On the Geography of Ros Ailithir. 
Going into detail, he begins with the Garden of Eden : 


Its [Asia's] beginning seems to be in tbe East 
The land wherein is the paradise of Adam ; 
The land where one need not prepare a feast, 
The land around which is a wall of fire. 

It was the universal belief of the middle ages that Paradise still 
existed, and its position was a favourite subject of speculation. 
Cosmas, in the seventh century, says it occupies a continent in the 
east of Asia, and is still watered by the four rivers springing from 
subterranean canals. Gautier de Metz, in his poem "Image du 
monde", written in the thirteenth century, places it in. an unap- 
proachable region of Asia surrounded by flames, and having an armed 
angel to guard the only gate. The mediaeval preacher Meffreth, in 
his second sermon for the Third Sunday in Advent, discusses the 
subject, and claims St. Basil and St. Augustine as his authorities for 
stating that it is on the top of a lofty mountain in Eastern Asia, so 
high that the cascade of the four rivers falls with such a roar that all 
the natives near are stone deaf. But these are later than Mac Cosse, 
and he is probably indebted to TertuUian, who says : "If we speak qi 
Paradise, it is a divine pleasance appointed to receive the souls of tl^e 
saints, and hidden from the observation of the common world by 'a 
girdle of fire, which encloses it like a wall.® There is a map in the 
Library of Strasbourg belonging to the ninth century, and another at 
Turin, both of which place Paradise in the extreme east of Asia ; and 
we may infer that our author followed some such map, as it appears 
from the next verse that it lay to the east of India, which is described 
as follows : — 

From that land to the river Indus westward 
[Is] India great and proud ; 
From the north from the Hindoo Coosh, 
To the strait of the Mare rubrum. 

Known is its excellence on every ^side, 
Its magnets and its diamonds ; 
Its pearls,, its gold dust. 
Its gold and its carbuncles. 

Its unicorns of fierce habit, 
Its soft and balmy breezes ; 
Its elephants of mighty strength. 
Its two harvests in one year. 

5 Page 232, note f. 


2 C 

222 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Here we have a knowledge of the properties T)f the magnet 
noticed, and the diamond, pearl, and carbuncle mentioned. It is pro- 
bable that these allusions were enlarged on and illustrated by the 
teachers ; for in Bede's description of these schools he represents the 
students ''as going about from one master's cell to another",® evi- 
dently seeking information on the subject of theii' studies. The 
references in the poem thus became themes for more extended instruc- 
tion, and there is no reason why the properties of the magnet which 
were known to Pliny may not have been lectured on ; or the diamond 
mines of Bengal, from which, according to Gibbon, the Romans were 
supplied with diamonds ; or again, the pearl fishery of Ceylon. 

Passing over several countries in Asia, we come to the following 
in verse xv. : — 

Chaldea and Babylon the strong, 
Are conspicuous between Arabia, 
And the plain of Shinar northward, 
Wherein was built Nimrod's tower. 

That Nimrod was the builder of the Tower of Babel is not in 
accordance with the Book of Glenesis (chap, x.), but it was the con- 
stant tradition of the middle ages, and was no doubt derived from 
Josephus. The form of the name here (Nebruaid) is that of the 
Greek Septuagint Yersion. The Irish seem to have been much at- 
tracted to him as a warrior and mighty hunter. In a poem of Gilla 
Coemain he appears as " the giant Nebrodes," and Dr. Keating also 
refers to him as the builder of the Tower of Babel, 

The prevalence of this tradition also appears from the mention of 
it by Dante — 

Nimrod I saw : 
At foot of the stupendous work he stood, 
As if bewilder' d, looking on the crowd 
Leagued in his proud attempt on Sennaar's plainj 

Passing on still westward we come to Palestina, or, as otherwise 
written, Eelistina. In O'Curry's Lectures, where the latter form 
occurs, he is uncertain whether it means Palestine or not, but here 
there can be no doubt that it does. There are several very curious 
linguistic changes in the poem which are worthy of notice ; but I 
refer to this particularly for a reason which will appear farther on. 
The verse, xix., runs thus — 

Palestina the glorious [land], 
There are the sons of Jacob ; 
To the south the vigorous Nabatheans 
And the lands of the Saracens. 

^ Ecc. His. Lib. iii., cap. 27 : " alii magis circumeundo per cellas magistrorum 
lectioni operam dare gaudebant". 

■' Purgatorio, xii. 34. See p. 233, note j. 

Olden — On the Geography of Eos Ailithir. 223 

The later Roman "writers applied the name Saracen to all the Ara- 
bian tribes, but our author, who distinguishes them from the Naba- 
theans, appears to have followed the earlier account of Ptolemy, in 
whose time they were a small tribe between Palestiae and Egypt.^ 

The inhabitants of Sodom (xx.) he seems to regard as still occupy- 
ing their origiaal seat ; but the explanation probably is, that he is 
simply illustrating a map. 

In No. XXI. we have — 

Egypt of famous deeds, 
Most fertile of all lands, 
Along by the river Nile southward 
It is neighbour to Africa. 

From this it appears that Egypt was regarded as forming part of 
Asia. The earlier geographers, Ptolemy and Strabo, fixed the Ara- 
bian Gulf and the Isthmus of Suez as the boundary between Asia and 
Africa ; but the later, as Dionysius, Mela, Pliny, and Solinus, pre- 
ferred the western branch of the Nile, thus giving to Asia all between 
the Nile and the present Eed Sea. This is the view our author fol- 

Passing on to verse xxiii., 

In that eastern land of many deeds 

Are the Seres of ancient fame ; 

For there are woods there 

Whence, no wonder, [comes] their wool. 

The earliest writer who refers to the Chinese as combing the silk 
called ''soft wool" from the trees, is Virgil,** whose account of it is 
probably the source of the mediseval stories on the subject. He -was 
not aware of the existence of the little worm which accounted for 
the phenomenon. 

"We have next a reference to Scythia and the griffins who protect 
the gold and precious stones there, probably a distorted rumour of the 
gold mines of the Ural,^'' and then in xxvi. — 

Land of Alaunia [where is] a burning fire, 
From the Caspian Sea to the [palus] Masotis 
Known are their tribes in west and east, 
A fair-haired people. 

There were two branches of the tribes known to eastern writers as 
the A-Lau or A-Lau-na, and to the Romans as the Alauni." Origi- 
nally occupying part of the Scythian desert, they were invaded by the 
Huns, when some of them joiaed their conquerors ; others passed to 

8 Page 235, note 1. '■' See p. 236, note o. 

'" See p. 236, note p. ^' See p. 236, note r. 

224 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

the south and occupied part of the Caucasus. This is the district re- 
ferred to here. The mixture of Sarmatic and German, blood had, 
according to Gibbon, contributed "to improve the features of the 
Alauni, to "^-hiten their swarthy complexions, and to tinge their hair 
with a yellowish cast." Thus our geographer's description of them is 
quite exact. "W^e have now to notice the flaming fire. I find that in 
this territory there is a phenomenon known to this day as " the eter- 
nal fires." It has been described by several travellers, among them 
Sir E. Ker Porter, whose account of it is as follows: — ''Bakou, the 
smallest, but one of the most valuable, of the Russian conquests south 
of the Caucasus, occupies a peninsula of the Caspian called Absheran. 
It derives great wealth from the produce of its naphtha springs ; these 
fountains of light and profit are deemed inexhaustible. At a short 
distance from the springs spreads the celebrated bui'ning plain to a 
distance of nearly a mile. Here both the ancient and modern 
disciples of Zoroaster came in thousands to adore the eternal flame, 
and to convey to their ovm hearths a portion of the sacred flame." ^^ 
He quotes the account of a previous traveller, who says : " The whole 
country around Eaku has at times the appearance of being enveloped 
in flames. It often seems as if the fire rolled down from the moun- 
tains in large masses with incredible velocity." Sir E. Porter says 
there are two kinds of naphtha, the black and the white, the latter 
being much thinner. It was used medicinally — inwardly for chest 
complaints, and outwardly for cramps and rheumatism. Marco Polo 
speaks of its being used for cutaneous distempers in men and cattle. 
So saturated is the soil with this naphtha that Sir R. Porter says they 
have only to make an incision in the floor, and on a light being applied 
to it the flame immediately arises. With the fire a gas also arises : 
leathern bottles are frequently filled with this gas.^^ The writer of the 
article on Baku in the new edition of the Encyclopasdia Pritannica says, 
the first to mention Eaku and its fire-breathing mountain was the Ara- 
bian writer Masudi, in the tenth centuiy ; but this is also the date of 
our geography, and, if the writer is not mistaken, it is remarkable 
that it should have been known as early here as by the Ai^abian writer. 
The reference to naphtha springs has led me to make inquiries, 
and I have found that the properties of naphtha, also called petroleum, 
were well known to the ancients. It is frequently mentioned in the 
Talmud. Tbus in Buxtorf 's Talmudical Lexicon^* a passage is quoted, 
in which St. Jerome says that naphtha was used by the Persians for 
burning. " The Hebrews mean by it the kind of oil which the author 

^- Sir E. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. p. 215. 

'3 Ibid. 

1* S. V. to Si Hieronymus scribit : Salustius scribit in Mstoriis quod naphtha 

sit genus fomentis apud Persas quo vel maxime nutriantur ineendia. Hebraei in- 
telligunt 60 genus olei quod Author Aruch vocat Petroleum cujiis usus prohibitus 
Judseis in Sabbatho quod sit odoris tetri. 

Olden — On the Geography of Eos Ailithir. 225 

named Aruch terms petroleum, the use of which was forbidden to the 
Jews on the Sabbath because of its evil odour." 

He gives also the following from the Talmud, which shows how 
familiar an article of commerce it was : — "A certain seller of petro- 
leum was in the barn of Rabbi Jona. A fire broke out in the barn. 
The seller of petroleum wished to go and put it out, but he would not 
allow him " (lest he should break the Sabbath). ^^ In this connexion 
may be mentioned the strange story in 2 Maccabees, chap, i., of the 
Jewish priests concealing the sacred fire in a dry well before the 
Babylonish Captivity, and their grandsons, on the return of the Jews, 
having found it. It would appear from verse 36^" that this was petro- 
leum. Plutarch says Alexander the Great saw with much surprise 
the petroleum " welling out from the rocks," when in the East. 

But not to digress too far, it is singular to find the eternal fires of 
the Caspian known in Boss Carbery in a.d. 991. 

Passing on to ]S"o. xxxii., we have — 

Cessair on the shore of the sea of Eig, 
Germain west from it with pure heights ; 
From Germain west to the sea, 
Sidon with its neighbour towns. 

I had much difficulty in identifying several places in the geo- 
graphy, but more in this case than in any other ; and I do not offer the 
solution which I propose with entire confidence. On referring to the 
Peutinger map of the district, Sidon appears due west of Csesarea Phi- 
lippi, its true position being north-west. Thus it was probable that 
Cessair was this Csesarea ; but then what is the Sea of Eig, and what 
Germain ? There is great confusion as to the geography of this part 
of Palestine in maps which assume to represent its ancient condition ; 
but on referring to Josephus I found that he gives an account of the 
rebuilding of Paneas by Philip, Tetrarch of Iturea, who named it 
Caesarea from his imperial patron, and Philippi from himself. Jose- 
phus repeatedly states that it was near the springs of Jordon,^'' and he 
sometimes calls the place merely Pege {jr-qyai), the springs. I^ow, 
according to the Babbins, there were seven seas in Palestine, one of 
which was the sea of Apamea, the position of which was not generally 
agreed on, but many were of opinion that it was the lake or sea of 
Paneas, at the springs of Jordan : the word being written Pameas by 

15 *lTJ;2i5? Naphthaeus, id est, vendens naphtham aut petroleum. Quidam 
va<p9oniiA.iqs erat in granario R. Jonse ; ortum est incendium in granario. Abiens 
itaque naphthseus seu va<pdoirdiK-r)s voluit extinguere illud sed non permisit ei ne se 
violaret Sabbathum, Schab. cap. 16. 

1^ Trpocrriyopevcrav Se ot nepl rhv Neefiidv rovro l^ecpda o 5iep/jL7}V€V€Tai Kadapia- 
IJI.OS- KaKeiTai 5e' irapa toIs itoWols Necpdaei, ii. Maccabees, i. 36. In Vulgate 
Nephthar, Nephi. 

'^ TTapa ras lopSdvov TTTjyas' KaAetrai to Tldviou 6 tottos. De Bell lib. i. cap. 21, 
sec. 3. 4>iAi7r7ros irphs Tats 'lopSdvov Trriyais iv TraveaSt, ■k6\lv KTi^ei Kaiaapnav. 
Antiq. lib. xviii. cap. 2, sec. 1. Also xv. 10. 3, and iii. 10. 7. 

226 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. .-_ 

the Talmudists. This may or may not have been so ; but if it was 
generally accepted in early times it is all we have to do with. In 
this view, then, the words "on the shore of the sea of Eig" appear 
to refer to this sea, for Csesarea was built at Paneas, " which (says 
Lightfoot) ^^ let the maps observe that they place it not too remote 
thence,"^" and, in fact, most maps do. But Paneas was also "the 
springs," Pege, and taking this as a proper name the^ becoming/, as 
in xTK., and the/, being aspirated, or by the simple loss of_^, we have 
the sea of Ege or Eig. 

But what is Germain ? The word occurs elsewhere for Germany 
(li.), but without the accent. Here it is clearly not Germany. In 
the Peutinger map already referred to, a range of mountains is shown 
between Csesarea and Sidon; they are not named, but, according to 
the Eabbins quoted by Lightfoot, the mountain overhangiag Cassarea 
was "the mountain of snow," ^° otherwise Hermon. The iTof this 
word (Jieth) has the force of Ch., and the name, written as Chermbn,^^ 
is as fairly represented by Germain as is usual with names in this 
geography; while the expression "with pure heights" exactly 
answers to the rabbinical name of the mountain of snow. 

We now. come to part II. of the geography, which treats of 

It was Apher, son of Keturah. and of Abraliam, 
"Who gave his name to Africa 
As an appellation, in memory of his wounds, 
From [carrying] a wallet he was named. 

This is a story from Josephus, who says Abraham had several 
sons by Keturah, who are not mentioned in Genesis. One of these 
was Ophren, who waged war against Libya, and took it, and from 
him Africa was called. He quotes several ancient authors for this. 

The next verse is — 

The name of Libya [is] from the pleasant brook 

"Which trickles to the headland, 

Or from the pure sweet-voiced mother 

Of Agenor, king of Africa. 

Here there is evidently a derivation from the Greek. ^^ It should 
be observed that the flourishing Greek colony of Gyrene adjoined 
Libya. The two territories are connected in the Acts of the Apostles, 

18 Lightfoot, Horae Hebr. vol. ii. p. 62. 

19 Ibid. p. 63. 

20 Ihid. p. 62. 

21 1^Q"in. The name was generally used in the plural, D''JQnr7i Sermonim, 
the mountain having several distinct summits. Germain here may be also a 

•"■ P. 239, note z, also note v. 

Olden — On the Geography of Ros Ailithir. 227 

where "the parts of Libya about Gyrene" are referred to, and it is 
possible that the Greek-speaking inhabitants, as is usual in popular 
etymology, did interpret the name Libya in their own tongue. 
In Stanza xli. we have the Nile — 

A river flows across Africa from the west. 
From Mount Atlas and the ocean : 
Dara [is] its name at its source, 
But in the east its name is Nuchul. 

It flows in the east underground for a space 
Amongst the learned Egyptians ; 
Kile [is] its name, from Cammus westward, 
Till it reaches the Torrian sea. 

This is the account of Juba, king of Mauretania, and of Pliny, 
though the names vary a little. Mela traces the origin of the 1^'Ae to 
a lake called I^uehul.^^ It would appear that travellers meeting with 
different rivers in the interior, and finding in them the same monsters, 
such as crocodiles, and the same vegetation on the banks, concluded 
that they must be parts of the same river, which reminds one of 
Captain Fluellen's comparison — " There is a river in Macedon, and a 
river in Monmouth, and there is salmons in both." 

By the river to the south there is 

A fountain that is cold when full day comes. 

It is hot, though far from the sea, 

From the time that full night falls. 

This is the Fountain of the Sun, in the oasis of Jupiter Ammon, 
in the Libyan desert, which has been frequently described, especially 
by the Latin poets. -^ 


The many chattering voices of the black men are described and 
their dumb or stammering words. Mela describes some of them as 
quite dumb, and using only the language of signs ; others who do not 
use their tongues ; others who have no tongues ; others whose lips are 
fastened together,-^ and other strange monstrosities, which appear to 
have been fully believed by the ancients. 

Coming now to Part III., which treats of Europe, we learn, xiix., 
that it was named from Europa, who was carried off thither by 
Jupiter. Its north-east boundary is the river Tanais (Don). iN'ow, 
with the earlier geographers the Phasis was the boundary, and we 

23 p. 2i0, note c. -^ See p. 242, note f. " P. 234, note. 

228 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

have thus another indication here that in the main onr author follows 
the later writers, though occasionally adopting the earlier views. 

In the country from Constantinople along the south of the Danube 
he tells (liii.) of many swift-winged things, by which the night is 
made bright. These I take to be fire-flies, as often described by the 

In the name of Thessaly, as given in the Book of Leinster, we 
have another of those curious linguistic changes I have mentioned. 
It appears as Cessair. The change of terminal I for r is common 
enough, but that from th to c is more difficult to explain, though 
there are instances of it ; it may be due, however, to the similarity of 
t and c in some manuscripts. 

Eome, verse lx., is not the Imperial city, but that, it would seem, 
of the Republic. It is the "politic city of the Romans." Our author 
occupies a standpoint outside the Empire, and speaks in quite a 
different tone from Dicuil, the Irish geographer who wrote on the 
continent, where the traditions of Imperial rule still survived. 

He concludes with Ireland, the island of Eriu, the pleasant land 
of many jewels, where the sons of Milesius are known to fame, the 
land of many glorious branching stems, the most fruitful of known 

These observations by no means exhaust the interest of the poem, 
but I was obliged to omit a great deal, lest this Paper should run to 
too great a length. 

To sum up briefly the evidence it affords as to the teaching of the 
Irish schools, I may state that the situations and boundaries of the 
different countries, as well as the rivers and mountains, are generally 
pretty accurately laid down, even in remote districts. The fauna 
mentioned are the elephant, tiger, panther, wild ass or zebra, bear, 
serpent, and unnamed African monsters, perhaps crocodiles, together 
with some fabulous animals. Of minerals and natural products, we 
bave the diamond, pearl, carbuncle, the magnet, selenite or moonstone, 
amber, crystal, gold, asbestos, myrrh, frankincense, and silk, and by 
inference petroleum. And then a long list might be made out of 
the physical characteristics of the different territories and the idiosyn- 
crasies of their inhabitants. 

It has no mention of the Franks, who had been in Gaul for five 
hundred years, nor of the Saxons, who were in Britain for about the 
same time, nor of the Danes, who had been ravaging the coasts of 
Ireland for one hundred and fifty years, and whom the author had 
reason to be acquainted with : from this, and the absence of any 
Christian allusions, it would seem that it was intended as a classical 
geography, and did not profess to give the state of knowledge at the 
date of its composition. 

It was evidently intended to be committed to memory, for which 

20 P. 244, note o. 

Olden — On the Geography of Ros Ailithir. 229 

its metrical form was well adapted. There seems to be reason to believe 
that the author was acquainted with Greek. This may be inferred 
from his knowledge of Josephus and one or two Greek derivations 
which we find." It is possible that these may have been taken from 
some mediaeval compilation ; but until this is proved it is fair to 
assume that they are from a Greek source. That Greek was studied 
in Ireland in that age is generally acknowledged; a well-known 
instance being that of John Scotus Erigena, who acquired sufficient 
knowledge of it to translate the pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, 
and another work. 

On the whole, the geography gives reason to believe that the 
education in the school of Ros Ailithir was by no means to be 
despised, and when it is remembered that it was composed a hundred 
years before the battle of Hastings, and two hundred before the 
Anglo-Norman conquest, and in the darkest of all the Christian 
centuries in European history, it must be allowed to be very credit- 
able to Ireland. 

P.S. — I am indebted to several kind fiiends for assistance in these 
observations and in the notes — assistance the value of which they will 
best understand who write in the country, and at a distance from 
libraries : I should especially mention Mr. W. M. Hennessy, whose 
attainments as a scholar and linguist, especially in the department of 
Celtic literature, are well known. He has been very kind in allowing 
me to consult him about difficulties in the translation, and in many 
other ways has given me valuable help, for which I feel truly ob- 
liged. I have also to thank Professor Rhys, of Oxford, for a com- 
parison of the copy in the Bodleian Library (Rawlinson, B. 502, fol. 45) 
with that of the Book of Leinster, and the various readings he has been 
kind enough to send me are those with the letter E. affixed; those 
followed by L are from the Book of Leinster. 

In Rawlinson the Irish is more archaic in form, and the names are 
nearer to the Latin ; the metre also has been more carefully attended 
to ; but on the other hand the writer appears to have been unacquainted 
with Greek, and to have attempted conjectural emendations {see xxxiv. 
and Lvii., and notes). On the whole, the Book of Leinster appears to 
have the better text. 

" See p. 239, note y, and the words kcpep, verse xxxiv., Ai/Sa, verse xxxv., and 
aa-fieffTos, verse lyii. 

E. I. A. PROC, VOL. II., SER. II. — POL. LIT. AND ANTIft. 2 D 

230 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

rriAc cosse -pen tesiiro titiis Aitiuliiti, Cecinit. 

(In |rej\ tejiTTO triAC Co-pfe, cecinit, R.) 

■Ro ■pe^'i'A i-cii]\p ■oomtiin x>m^ : coic c]Ae]^A cAine comrliui-p^ 
•OA UA]\'OA co-Tigt-Aine gne. •da mej^Aigclie im cTienciTJe. 

cencit)e •OA-t\ Tnet)6ti cuiji-p. CAlniAn cene riA r|\OTn-ctii]\c^ 

■OA tiA|\t)A in immut cuato cej^. •oa mepjAAigce imtn-An-|\oce-pf. 

iti Tnef]AAi5re uuait) t:6 niin. iffe if ACC|\eb 'oo "ooenib 
ife |\o -oeiig ■01A ■oiATi. i-c]AetiAib o mui]\ co|^|A1'A11. 

C|\i ]^AnnA in •oomum ciA|\ uaija. C|m |\AnnA icac pt A'OAim^ 
C|\i |\AnnA -pA* ■oetig tdia. eu]AAip Ap}r|\Aic if ApA. 


AfiA iptriAic^ A-fv CAc tec. on -pijAin^ f o liAnmnigeD 
ApA bA li-Aimn -oi" CAi|\. ben ]\o gAb iM'ge 1n■D-A1l^C1|^. 

ApA Til ce|\c CAi|\ AC1. t)A|A Ai|\c'lie|\ in Tnep\Ai5c1ii 
bee TiAc |\tic8 tecli le n-A ^Iaiu. o eo|\Aip if o AffHAic. 

ACUAit) AnAi]A If Aneff. aca in mui|\ inimA mof cneff 
no-f-'oenlAn-o ]f ucli "OAnAi Ani'A]A. nniif ineoic if muijA co]\|\iati. 

^ CAini coniiiiif, E,. 

2 cmt) inAcli|\onicliwi|\c, E.. 

2 ACjM tllCAC pt A'OAim, R. 

* ]\o, R. 

5 p|\mAic1i, R. 
^ o figAin, R. 
■^ •oi'oe, R. 


So Vii-gil :— 

Quinque tenent CEelum zonfe quarum una corusco 
Semper sole rubens et torrida semper ab igni, 
Quam circum extremsE dextra Levaque trahnntur 
Cserulea glacie concrete atque imbribus atiis, 
Munere concessse divom. 

Georgics, i. 233-238. 

Olden — On the Geography r)f Ros Ailithir. 231 


In the body of the firm world are known five^ equal zones marked out ; 
Two frigid of bright aspect ; two temperate around a fiery. 

The fiery across the middle of the body of the world ; [there is] fire in its solid mass ; 
Two frigid at the border north and south ; two temperate around the great heat. 

The north temperate zone under heaven, there is the abode of mankind ; 
It is that which God divided for ever, in thirds'' from the Torrian Sea. 

[There are] three parts of the world west and east ; three parts[in which are Adam's i 
Three parts which God divided, Europe, Africa, and Asia. 

Asia [is] very good on every side, from the Queen'^ it was named ; 

Asia was her name in the east, the woman who ruled over the eastern world. 

Asia [is] not insignificant ; in the east it is, across the eastern part of the temperate 
Almost half'' [the zone] took she by force, from Europe and from Africa, [zone]. 

On north, east, and south, the sea is round its great sirrface, 

Which the river Tanais (Don) bounds on the west, the Sea of Mceotis^ and the Torrian 

b Thirds. — Pomponius Mela, regarding the Euxine as a bay of the Mediterranean, 
says : Hoc mari et duobus inclytis amnibus Tanai atque JSilo in tres partes universa 
dividitur, lib. i. cap. 1. 

<= Queen. — Asia, daughter of Oceanus. 

^ Half. — Strabo says Europe and Africa together are not equal in size to Asia, 
xviii. 3. 1. 

« In the time of Herodotus the Palus Maeotis (Sea of Azov) was considered not 
much smaller than the Euxine, and it was believed to occupy a position to the east 
of that sea. This explains its relative position to Armenia in xxvii. Part of the 
Euxine is termed the Pontic Sea (liii.), and the whole sea seems to be called the 

232 Proceedings of the Royal Irinh Academy. 

co)yAc |^o fAmLuf •oi cai|\. C1'|^ i^Aii pAjA-ouf At)Aini 
ci'j\ in tiAC ei'cen -pjA •pie'D. ci'fv imm-ocA mujA ueneo. 

oil C1|\ pi1 CO--p|MlC n-iriT) pAjA. IITO-IITOIA COn-A-IDOjA tniAT) 

ACUATO o fteib cucAifCAiti. CO TnimceiTo •mA|\A ]AomAi|\. 

■Ro X^XT A-tntnAic Af cac ai]\'o. a ruAjneic, a li-A'OAmAitic 
A TnA|^5A]^e1C a }i-u)\ itio|a.^ a 'h-6]\ ^\ a CA|\|\Tnoco'L. 


A "h-oenbenriAc ^^ejACAignAic.^" a ^Aec -pecAmAit -p^A-blAic^^ 
A lieiipAinc^^ coTn-bfM'g-bit. A-bbuAin fA'oo^^ in-oenbiiA'OAin. 

■pAHCI ^'C AffA^VDAI A|\'D'OA. pe|\fA1 If Tnet)A TnO|A5A|\5A^* 

o itTD p'a|\ I'Aigic riA pt^.^° co cuiito c]AebAi|i c|\om-ci5i|\. 

O tnU1|\ jAUAt) I^AJAIT) TDAjA |Ae. |:0 CUAIT)^^ CO Cl'|\ A|\CAne 

Tpf-i-ci]A pn 111 ■da'L Tiip". ACA 111 tiA^'' pbniecif. 

AjAAib CO nn-piv co riji|" CAi-p. co trAenic in ino|\ fAejAit 
o 1i-ocf Alt ]\omuin c^en c|mcc. o ciji^a co ]^tic n-eup\Aic. 


CAb'oei If bAbitom bAilc. ece|\ inii-AfAib a^oaic^^ 

A^uf iTiAg fennAi|\ fo cuait). in-'De|MiA'o in co|\ nebiAUAit).^^ 

^ ifA niAf 5|\eic -pof Aliof, E. 
10 -poixcoegnAic, K.. 
" AgjAec fecAiiiAii fifblAic, E. 
1- A lietipliAinc, E. 

13 jTOTDI, E. 

1* pejAfA if me'OA imngAixgA, E. 

's oitin pAf -pegAic Hit) pn, E. 
IS -pejAic A-pe. -pu elm AIT), E. 

1' ni •OaL'01]\ ACA 111 ilA, E. 

19 fojApToeiMiAt) in co)A nemivuAit), 

Cimerian Sea [in Cimer mtdr) throughout this geography (see xxlx.). It is curious 
that one of the Irish Saints (Colman) was known as the " Cimerian wanderer." 

The Torrian Sea is the name hy which the Mediterranean was known to the 
Irish. The Mare Tyrrhenum was originally the sea to the west of Italy, hut gra- 
dually came to have a more extended meaning. 

f This is apparently taken from Tertullian : Et si Paradisum nominemus locum 
divinse amaenitatis reeipiendis sanctorum spiritibus destinatum, maceria quadam 
ignese illius zonae a notitia orbis communis segregatum. — Tertull. ApoL, cap. 47. 

g Unicorns of fierce habit. — -"Atrocissimus est monoceros" — Dicuil. The epithet 
Fercaignaith seems a compound of Fercach, wrathful, and gnath, habit. The Oxford 
copy has Forcocgnaith, of usual habit. 

Olden — On the Geography of Bos Ailithir. 233 

Its beginning seems to be in tbe east, the land wherein is the paradise^ of Adam ; 
The land where one need not prepare a feast ; the land around which is a wall of fire. 


From that land to the river Indus westward [is] India great and proud ; 
From the north, from the Hindoo Coosh, to the strait of the Mare rubrum. 


Known is its excellence on every side, its magnets and its diamonds ; 
Its pearls, its gold dust, its gold and its carbuncles. 


Its unicorns of fierce habits, its soft and balmy breezes ; 

Its elephants of mighty strength, its two harvests in one year. 


Parthians and highland Assyrians, Persians and very fierce Medes ; 

From Indus westward reach the men, to the profitable waters of the deep Tigris. 


From the Eed Seai^ they reach across the plain, under the north to the land of Arcane. 
In that land, no poor lot, is the stone Selenite. 

Arabia with myrrh and frankincense in the east, with the phoenix of great age ; 
From the angle' of the Mare rubrum, powerful, swift; from Tigris and river 


Chaldea and Babylon the strong, are conspicuous between Arabia 

And the plain of ShinarJ northward, whereia was built Nimrod's tower. 

^ Eed Sea. — Mtiir ruadh, i.e. the'Indian Ocean : this is the vernacular term : the 
other expression for it, vss. 9, 14, 20, is roniair ; the Latin rubrum. The Persian 
Gulf and the Arabian Gulf with its branches were termed the Eed Sea, being 
regarded as inlets of the Indian Ocean. In a poem of Gilla Coemain, Book of 
Leinster, 1306., the two expressions are combined, tarmtliecht tnara ruaid romair, 
" the crossing of the Eed Sea." The latter name, however, when used alone, is 
ambiguous, as it may also signify "the Great Sea" : of. the Calendar of Oengus, 
by Stokes : Index. 

Arcane. — This description corresponds better with Carmania than any other 
country. It is now the province of Oman, and the east part of Hadramant. It is 
a desert plateau with a ring of mountains round the coast. The crystallized gypsum 
or moonstone was used for glazing windows. Pliny's account of the name is, 
'2,e\7]viT7]v dictum vult Dioscorid, non quod imaginem Lunse contineat sed quod 
adlucente Luna, eV t^ t^s (Te\-l]V7)s irapavyd^ei media nocte ac intempesta reperitur, 
37, 10 (67). 

' The angle formed by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian GuLf. " In Persico 
sinu maris rubri." — Pliny, lib. ix. 106. 

J The plain of Shinar is one of the favourite places of the Irish Bards ; andNim- 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

ni li-Aifc ACAC CAi-fv TiA y^y^P ece|v eu-pjAAic if cip]\ 
A^uf CA-ucAif 2^ feib A-p tiA. If" cuAUA mef OpOCAtTllA. 

SifiA f|M euff A1C AniA^A. CO mocof iriAfA coffiAn 
o egipc fecic a foic. fo cuato cof-iri CApAOoic. 


f]M tnAgeriA ACUAit) a uf eiri.^^ ffi cApATJOic ffi li-Afmeiti 
f AeniciA fiticAf ifuf . 11111-ef mriA coni-focuf .^-^ 

PAtefdtiA^^ con-A gtoif . aito pn acac tnic lACOib 
TlAbAcllI fflU AT1-T)eff CO Cent). If CUACA riA fAipcetTO. 


ScoonroAi-^ o fAiii fiAf tiac^'' ftAii. AtriAtec Amtnon moAb 
Self 28 ciAf If TriA'oiAn CAif . coeb fi-^ uoeb if tnuif f omuif . 


HIT) ejip cotigAife jnitn.^o if cofuecu cac ■oejc'hif ^^ 
itiec f 1 ffucli nit fO ■oefi'.^^ ffi Afff aic a coniATOceff.^^ 

o fieib cucAif f Aif fo CUA1C. ffi 1i-6f iini-ociinii ^^ inn-UAif 
ni li-AifC ACA foi'f 11 A fef. o iniiif cAif)D cuff-itni-Aifcef . 

20 int) fif , E. 

2i CUCAIf, L. 

22 omit, E.. 

23 fill (sic) mA^iriA cuATo CO cfen, E. 

2* ATI Aef IIIA "h-AUfOClIf, L. 

25 f eiifCi'iiA cuf in gioif . 

26 So'ooniA, E. 

27 ni, E. 

28 Sief , L. 

29 ff1, E. 

^° int) egeipc congAf jne Ajnim, E. 
^^ nt)e5cliif , E. 

32 fAt)ef, E. 

33 t)ont) Afff AicAConiAidicVieff, E. 
^* CO li-of int)-Aceoin, E. 

rod's connexion with tie tower was an. accepted fact. It has been observed that 
Ne^pcbS (ia the ln&h.Nebruad), as in this poem, is the form of the name in Josephus 
and the Septuagint : x""^ ^^ eyevy7](Te rhv Ne^pcoS- ovros ijp^aTo eTi/ai yiyas 
i-KL Tr}s 77JS. — Genesis, x. 8 (Sept.) Compare the followiag from a poem of Gilla 
Coemain : — 

t)A cec bbiAtJAn co tiibiiAit) 

CO mefc uiiif n-oicig nebfUAit). 

Two hundred victorious years 

To the confusion of giant Nehruad's Tower. 

Book of Leinster, 130 7^ 

Olden — On the Geography of Bos Ailithir. 235 


"Without doubt, in the east are the men, between Euphrates and Tigris, 
And Caucasus, ■\vhere it is greatest, and the tribes of Mesopotamia. 


Syria, to'wards Euphrates from the -^est, to the dark places of the Torrian Sea ; 
From Egypt its length is seen, northward to Cappadocia. 


Towards Magena (Commagene ?), on the north its strength ; towards Cappadocia, 

towards Armenia ; 
Phoenicia is known here, on the south'^ in its neighbourhood. 

Palestina, the glorious [land], there are the sons of Jacob ; 

To the south the vigorous Nabatheans, and the lands of the Saracens'. 

The people of Sodom, thence westward, not healthful : Amalek, Ammon, and Moab ; 
Seir west and Midian east on either side of the Mare rubrum.™ 


Egypt of famous deeds, most fertile of all lands ; 

Along by the river Kile southward, it is neighbour to Africa."^ 

From Mount Caucasus east by north, by the shore of the Arctic Ocean ; 
Without doubt there is a multitude of men, from the Caspian Sea to eastward. 

It is singular that Bacchus was also called NeySpcoSes, and this name was supposed 
to have been derived from NfySpjs, the skin of the hind, which the Bacchantes used. 
But another tradition identifies him with Nimrod : "Nimrod Graecorum Bacchus 
Arabum desertis in amaenissimos Babylonise progressus cum vires suas circumspice- 
ret ejus urbis imperium rapuit ac brevi magnum Eegnum conflavit." — Hoffman's 
Lexicon Univer. s. v., Nimrod. 

'' The Book of Leinster reads an aes, which does not make sense. Probably 
the true reading is inn-ess, i.e. the ships, alluding to the Phcenician commerce. 

1 Saracens.- — They are mentioned at a very early period by Ammianus Marcel- 
linus, lib. xiv. cap. 4. Menander describes them as very numerous: ^apaKr\vLKa 
<t>v\a /jLvpiaSes ravTa Kai to irKeicTTOv avrccv epfiixovojxoi Kat aSecnroToi. — Excerpta 
Legat. p. 149. 

Nabatheans. — The Greeks and Eomans called the inhabitants of the country, 
whose capital was Petra, by this name. 

™ Bed Sea. — Here the Elanitic Gulf. 

° Africa. — Egypt it will be observed is treated as part of Asia, the Nile dividing 
it from Africa. — r. ni., note b, p. 231. 

236 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

if-int)-Ai|\ce|A pn cec ^aL. acac j^ejA'OAi co p'p^^'^'^ 
fo bicli ACApt)bAt) Ant). x>o riAC injnA'o mn-otAiro. 

'bAcc|\i[A] 7 ■0AC1A ]io -pef. cuAit) 'oon -pciciA A coniAi'ocey 
if-111 ]"ciciA ACAC 5|M'bA glen-Q.^s ic comec 6i]a if jiAn gem. 3' 

XX Y. 

6 f-Ain pA|\'oe]-y^' itn cent) cAif]D. aca 1ii|\caiii ni 1i-A]\t)Aifc 
ci)i 1CA cigi]^ tuAC Lout). 7 pAnACij\ b|\ecot)0|\]\.^^ 


b]\U5 utbAniA cenne uoic.^^ o mui]\ CAifp cuj'-in meoic 
tlo feff A c)AebA cia|\ caija. piibc ge^A fojA An tjoenib. 


ViibejA*" A|vli-U|\ cAifp IMA 5Ai]A. edjA A|\niein " AbbAin 
tneoic fM*' 1i-A]\Tnein AniA^. i comAicceu iiac |\o ciAn, 


penciptiA*2 ctiAit) cenb^AC. eci]A in muijA imTnecc|\Ac*3 
^^ Al/bAn*^ co-iijAijAge gne. 7 ci|\ nA ci'ctoj'cce. 


coboci^^ IC AtbAin*s t)o--p-pjit. ecA|\j\ti if in cirne]! muij\ 
in mui]\ cimentiA con-t>]MC. fo x>e^ ^^ ApA ifi-bbAC-bic.*'' 

35 bif 5i\ibt)A, E. 

2s gemm, E,. 

^~ UAt)fAni I'AijAtJe-p, E. 

28 b|\eccbo|\n, E. 

29 ALbAniA cmne cTijAeoic, E. 
*° U151IA, L. 

" ITM, E. 

*2 -pencipiMA, L. 

^s n-imniec1ic]AAc'h, E. 

" AlbAin, E. 

*5 C0IA15, E. 

*s gelbAn, L. 

*' liibAidi bic, E. 

The soft wool which, was combed from the trees by the Seres or Chinese is 
frequently referred to by the ancients. The earliest writer to mention it is Virgil : 
" VeUera ut foliis depectant tenuia Seres." — Georgic 'A. 121. 

p Griffins. — " Eegio ditis admodum soH, inhabitahilis tamen ; quia Gryphi, 
sseTum et pertinax ferarum genus aurum terra penitus egestum mire amant mireque 
custodiunt et sunt infesti attingentibus." — Mela, lib. ii. cap. 1. 

1 Tigers. — Hircania regio pantheris ac tigribus infesta. — ]\Iela, lib. iii. cap. 5. 

Sed duris genuit te cautibus horrens 
Caucasus, Hyrcanaeque admorunt ubera tigres. 

^neid, iv. 366. 
f TJlwania. — This seems intended for Alaunia, the u being due to assimilation, 
and appears to have caused a difficiilty to the copyist of the Oxford ms., who sub- 
stitutes AbbAniA. The territory referred to probably included the latter, but was 
more entensive. These people are described by Klaproth : "Peuples Alano-goths 

Olden — On the Geography of Eos Ailithir. 237 


In that eastern land of many deeds are the Seres [Chinese] of ancient fame ; 
For there are woods there, whence, no wonder [comes], their wool." 


Bactria and Dahse are known in the north ; they adjoin Scythia : 
In Scythia are griffins? of the valley, guarding gold and bright gems. 


Thence south-west around the head of the Caspian is Hyrcania, without doubt ; 
Land where are tigersi swift and fierce, and brown panthers. 

Land of Alaunia"^ [where is], a burning fire ; from the Caspian Sea to the [palus] M^otis ; 
Known are their tribes in west and east, a fair-haired people. 


Iberia, on the shore of the famous Caspian Sea, between Armenia and Albania ; 
Mseotis by Armenia on the west, its vicinity is not very far. 

Pentisilia^ in the north xvithout deceit, between the External sea 
And Albania of fierce aspect, and the land of the Amazons. 

The Colchians, who are by Albania, between it and the Cimerian Sea ; 
The Cimerian Sea, which meets at the south flowery Little Asia.* 

a cheveaux blonds dans I'Asie Centrale, A Lan, ou A Lan ISTa dans le seconde 
siecle avant Jesus Christ ce sont les Alains." — Notes to the Atlas of Asia. Poly - 
glotta. They originally occupied the deserts of Scythia ; but when defeated by 
the Huns, a colony of them took refuge in the Caucasus. 

A burning fire. — The "ager ardens " or burning plain, near Baku on the 
Caspian : see p. 223. The latest account of it is to be found in O'Donovan's Merv. 

= Fentisilia. — I have been unable to discover any country answering to this 
description. The Book of Leinster has Pentisiria. The Amazons are always known 
by Irish writers as the Ciehloscthe, or "Burnt-breasts." The origin of this name 
is explained by Mela : ' ' Sarmatia . . . usque eo immanis atque atrox ut f Eeminse 
etiam cum viris bella ineant : atque ut habiles sint natis statim dextra aduritur 
mamma' — lib. iii. cap. iv. § 10. "We have them associated with PentisiUa, as here, 
in another passage of the Book of Leinster : — 

•RucAT) ctif HA cictofcab ia|a n-A|\5Ain ci|m Si|\ia 
■Ro triAub c|M ceu cecpACAC x>e fbuAg penuAfitiA. 

Who invaded the Amazons after plundering Syria ; 
Who slew 12000 of the host of Pentasilia (Penthesilea ?). 

P. 44, -^. 

' 22-23 

* The Irish did not speak of Asia Minor, but of " Asia the Little " ; so the Germans, 



Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Ill AfjTA bee peac aicc. becAin ^mjia ti^o^^ jaIaiu 

phllip L1CIA C|\Oe COtn-biAIT).*^ 1fl1|MA pA^MA pAmpii.5<* 

CApATDOIC H1A AnA1|\ 111 'Olff. -[MA AniA^V^^ 1111.11^ p]A0p011C1'D1|' 

]MA ne|y a ciine]\5- ii-gttiAijA ri-gie. connice ni rnui|\ n-Ai5iT)e.' 

ce|yAi|\ A|\ 1iut\ mAHA eij.^i gejMTiAiii uat) p'aja |via 5tAn-|\eit\. 
o 5e|\iiiAiii pAjA cof-iii-tnui|A. fi'oon con-A-coniAi'ocib. 


gAbf AU o^ in tnAjAA tnoijA. cu]"-inn-eppc o frooin 
AriAijA tioco-cie "oa cmi^.^^ cuaca 'oe beic^^ im^' T^opr- 


A^ejA 'DO ]AAC Ainm -ppiA |aat). niAC •oo cecuijA if -oo AbjAAim^^ 
'ooiTO-Affj\Aic A]\ cinnirie cnet). o cIiciaa ^o li-Aiimiii5eT).^° 

Ainm 'D1 tibiA o-n jAeic^^ giMnt). nA •OA-pcten'o co-li-in jAinT)* 
no 6-n^'^ mACAip gucbint) gte, AjenoijA^^ jug A^Aice. 

*8 tic, L. 

*9 combAil, E. 

50 pilip, L. 

51 AUOIjA, L. 

52 in ciini|\, E. 

53 con'0|Mce in iniii|\ n-egine. 
51 1i-ei5, L. 

55 Aniii|\ no cocliie 'oiA cni|", E. 

56 beci, E. 
5' in L. 

58 n., L. 

59 jMA-pAT). litiA 'OO clieclieoip -i^ 

■OAb|^An1 .1. A|?pe]A inAC in At)! An 

inic Ab|\Am, E. 
^0 A|\ cnmne cneo. no ocliiiclmA 

|\OAinnineT), E. 
61 gAec, E. 
6- cohimjMnn, E. 
63 no If on, E. 
61 AgenA, L. 

" If not Caria, this may be Parium on the Propontis. According to Pausanius, 
ix. 27, § 1, a colony of Parians from the Island of Paros settled there. 

■f In ancient maps the line from the Bosphorus to the Hellespont runs from 
N.-E. to S.-W. nearly. 

'^ Pure heights : via glan reir (cf. rccir, rearadh, O'Eeilly). Professor Ehys has 
been good enough to communicate to me the opinion of Dr. Neubauer and his own, 
that Cessair is Caesarea in Cappadocia, and that eig is a mistake for Mount Ai-gaeus, 
near which it stood. This suggestion seems to have several difficulties ; one of 
which is its situation, which is quite in another direction from that given in the 
poem ; but the reader will exercise his own judgment. See p. 225. 

^ Knotvledge. — "The great knowledge" would appear to be the Divine Eevelation 
given to the Israelites. The ancient Irish worshipped the Dagda, or Beneficent 
Deity, whose title was "Lord of the Great Knowledge " {Euad Rofhessa) ; and it 

Olden — On the Geography of Ros Ailithir. 239 

In Little Asia are seen these places : Bithynia, Phrygia, Lydia, Galatia ; 
Paphlagonia, Lycia, famous Troy, Isauria, Paiia," Pamphylia. 


Cappadocia at the east not smaU ; at the west^ the sea of Propontis, 
[Which extends] south from Cimer of bright fame, to the ^gean Sea. 


Cessair on the shore of the Sea of Eig,''' Germain west from it with pure heights, 
From Germain west to the sea ; Sidon with its neighboiir towns. 


The tribes of God who have the great knowledge,^ not hidden is their extent in the 

Took possession of the shore of the great sea, from Sidon to Egypt. 

Are known, &c. 


It was Apher, son? of Keturah and Abraham, who gave his name to Africa, 

As an appellation, in memory of his wounds. From [carrying] a wallet he was named. 

Its name of Libya^ [comes] from the pleasant brook which trickles to the headland. 
Or from the pure sweet-voiced mother of Agenor, king of Africa. 

would seem that they transferred this term (rofMs) in Christian times to the Old 

Great Sea. — The Jewish name for the Levant. — Numbers, xxsiv. 6. 

y We have evidence here that the copyist of the Oxford ms. made conjectural 
emendations of the text. Not finding in the Bible any son of Abraham called 
Afler, he alters the text, and substitutes a grandson of Abraham (Gen. xxv. 4). 
He was not aware that Mac Cosse followed Josephus, who quotes authorities as to 
Abraham having had a son named Apher, and assigns the same cause for the name 
of Africa : 

n(ppT]v (TTparevcras iirl rrjv Ai^vfjv 

KaT4(Txev avT7]V koI ot vtoovol avrov 

KaTOLKriaavT^s iv aiirrj t7)v yrjV cnro rod 

eneivov ovS/jLaros AcppiKav irpoariyopiva'av. 

Atttiq., B. 1, ch. xv. 

It is worth noticing that the Oxford copy, by adding no (or) before o clithra, 
shows that the copyist did not understand has author, who meant to convej^ that 
Apher derived his name from ^epco, because "he canied" a wallet. It is not an 
alternative explanation, as he makes it; but he was apparently unacquainted with 

■•= Libija. — From \ifias, a trickling stream, irregular accusative, A.iy8o. This seems 
an instance of Volksetyniologie, originating with the Greek inhabitants of North 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


in-c-ociAn AnAi|\ ]aia cnejj. fTMj^-inn-ecioip AnAi|^'De]y 
7 Aiie|Y 1]* AniAjA. 7 acuato mm\i co|\]MAn.®5 


Acu]' AiiAijACUAit) n^ic TliL ' ejipc iTiAic ■nl6|^-nn'n 
iLtec f^^ li-egipc lAiApi^j^^ tibiA cAetri ci]\iiieiip]'. 


pencApoit cpogoich^^ ACCIAC, A]\ C0mA1]\^^ tnA|^Al1-A•0y^1AC 
o ppcib ni6|\A fOTDeij. cufpnn-ecioip cpem^3.^i|\5ef. 


oca'" p|\ri TnOjAA pA-p. '-pA ll-O-p tDAHA CO-ll-ACIAIl 
CIMpoLlCAIlA 11AC ■01J'. blj'UACItim fcnigif.'i 

ntiTneDiA cti-ni|\c a Ii-aij. niA-jMCAnA-anjiuAin''^ 

Af AU"2 f O X>eYX If f O CUATO. rpiTO-AffJAAIC A111 A|\'05'LlJA1^.''* 

fjAUC C1C "OA-p A-pfl^AIC AniA]A. A fbeib AcVliAinC 01lt)-AC1A11 

If TDAHA A Ainm ic A buii. niA'D CAif 1-pe A Ainin nucliut. 

ceici CAif fo CAlniAin cfebt. in ejipcAccAib lAn-cent)''^ 
iii'Uif o cliATnnnif fe'^ p'Af. a aiiitii co-foic mui|\ co]\]m'aii. 

*^ coijAf en, R. 

^^ Af pf , K. 

^' ben-ocf o]DAii Cf ojacc, L. 

^8 co-comui]A, E.. 

8^ 'Of eim, E, 

■^0 ochA, K. 

'1 bizACUim If ceujif, E. 
'- Tiiuf icAniA cinguiCAiti, R. 

"^ AfUIC, E. 

'* lAfpnt) Afff A1C A1T1 A'0]\UA1'0, E. 

'5 IC eigipc cocbATO bAnclienn, E. 
'^ Of cliAmfe, L. 

^ Gentle. — That is civilized ; a Greek colony having settled at Cyrene at an 
early period : see Acts, ii. 10. 

^ Pentapolis Cyrenaica. — The Trogodytes, also termed troglodytes, are described 
by Mela : " Trodogytce nullarum opum domini strident magis quam loquuntur, 
specus siibeunt, aluntui-que serpentibus." — Mela, lib. i. cap. ix. 15. M. Letronne, 
in his ec ition of Dicuil, has the follo^ving : " I'eciis Trogodytis et non Troglodytis 
parce quf- .I'estl'orthographe constante des manusciics de Phne, SoHn, Mela, Isidore, 
et qu'il Be me parait pas prouve que les geographes Latins ne s'en soient jamais 
servis. On salt en effet que les grecs disaient rpcol rpwjos (racine de Trogodytis) 
aussi bien que rpccyXj].'^ — Eecherches, &c., p. 77. 

In Herodotus (Smith & Groves's Map), south of the Syrtes, in the position here 
described, are the Trogodytes. 

<; On the old belief that the Xile rose in Mount Atlas and flowed eastward, see 
Smith's Geography, vol. ii. p. 430. There was much confusion in ancient times 

Olden — On the Geography of Ros Ailithir. 241 

The ocean is on tlie east along its extent, on the south-east towards Ethiopia, 
And on the south and west. And on the north [is] the Torrian Sea. 

And on the north-east the river Nile, and goodly Egypt of great culture ; 
Along hy Egypt after an interval, the gentle^ Lihya Cirinensis. 

In Pentapolis^ the trogodytes are seen, opposite the junction of the Adriatic Sea, 
From the Syrtis major southward, direct to Ethiopia. 

From Syrtis major westward, hy the shore of the sea to the [Atlantic] Ocean 
Are TripoHtana, not insignificant, Byzacium, and Zeugis. 

Numidia with daring valour, [and] Mauretania-Tingitana ; 

Its length is southward and northward, in noble Africa of lofty splendour. 


A river<^ flows across Africa from the west, from Mount Atlas and the ocean ; 
Dara [is] its name at its source, but ia the east its name is NuchuJ. 

It flows in the east underground for a space, amongst the learned Egyptians ; 
Nile [is] its name from Cammus"! westward, till it reaches the Torrian Sea. 

between the Daradus, the Niger, and the NUe. The name Nuchul (Niger?) here is 
foiind elsewhere in the Book of Leinster : 

egepuACOAi 1-m Yf^vti Hit h-iaja : "00 ctAiniAib 1Tlef]AAim mic CAim 
OCA fpuc tlucliuit Aiiei' : co iinii|\ Uo|^]MAT1 tia c]Aoin-c|\e)Y. 

142 a. 

The Egyptians, on the west, by the river Nile, 

Of the race of Misraim, son of Ham ; 

From the river Nuchul northward 

To the Mediterranean Sea. 

Mela regarded the name as a corruption of the word Nile : " In iEthiopium 
finibus fons est, quem Nili esse aliqua credibile est. Nichul ab incolis dicitur : et 
videii potest non alio nomine appellari, sed a barbaro ore corruptus." — Lib. iii. i. 3. 

^ Cliammus. — This would appear to be either cambus, " the bend" of the Nile, 
or perhaps the Latin campos, which in Irish pronunciation drops the j»?. The fol- 
lowing illustrates the text : " Dyris qui ortus ex septentrionali regione progreditur 
per occidentem ad lacum Heptabolum et mutato nomine cUcitui- Niger. . . . 
pervenit in -Slgypti ccmqios et ibi Nilus appellatur." — Yitruvius, lib. viii. cap. ii. 
p. 183: Berolini, 1880. 

Mount Hes2)eriitm, — Cape de Verde. 

242 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


6-n cf|\uc pn y:o 'oeff co-m-Tntii]A. ecioip in-'OACA 'oe|\b-'o«i'b 
■DAjA 'De|'cni|\c ti-A]:^pAice iii'o-ai|a'o. co-fiiAb n-i^-^ep i]" AibAinc. 

If ^l''"'' I^UC Ane]f ACA. CO]DO]\ tlA|\ O C1C tAniA 

Se ce CTO ciaii o-ii 1nl1l|^.''8 o tAigeAf iiit)-p|\'^'0^''5-"^ 

If ]M ffUC ACUAITJ^" ACA CljA. 1CAC fiebl Af Afcin^^ 

cif n-oriAgfi If gAem co-m'bl.A'o.s^ ci']\ tiACf ac if oenbeniiAC. 

in ci'f pn C1A beicli 'dia fAC. if ci'f tiACf ac 7 'oufOf ac^^ 

ACf tlA CAf AC^* COmf AT) CA111. C1)\ torHllA 'Oe COf ACf Alb. 


in tnif OCA fiiAb fo "oeff. •oon'o-Afff aic aja f o-c1ieff 

ni b-inroA a bbAC ci be Accec. o fLeib fo cuaio ci'f cof cec. 

cif fef ii-'o;ib co-n-imnnit) gtoif . cif cen Ainmne cen on6i|v^5 
con b|\eci]A bAiib CACAcef .^^ cif ■oa^'' ca]\ac Ainin Affef . 

eof Ai-p blAfCA^^ co-tribtAiT). ingen jAfCA^^ Ajeiioef 
Aifm cuffti-fucAt) i-fbAic. ip' cue Ainm^'^ 'ooli'o-eofAip. 

miiif inA-ciriiceLt f o feff. acuai-o AniAf AniAfoeff 
Aneff AtiAif ni iiAi'om piAit.^^ 7 IT^^ ■OAnoe^" AnAif cuait). 

" ffi, E. 

'^^ iflie ce CTOciAn omnif , E. 

''^ int)fif jef, R. 

^^ o ffUcTl fOcllUATO, E. 

^^ Af Axin, E. 

S2 nAnAjf e if jemm cont)AC, E. 

^3 •onb'Of AC, E. 

8i nA'OcllAf AC, E. 

85 con Ainbte if con ecoif , E. 

8^ cecfi Acclief , E. 
^'^ '01A, E. 

88 eilf OpA bf AfCA, E. 

89 AfCA, E. 

90 COfACUCAT) 111 IftAIC. 'DO fAC A 

Ainm, E. 

91 AnAifin nuAiTDni fUAib, E. 

92 •DAnAI, E. 

^ Strabo describes Africa as forming a rigbt-angled triangle, one side being tbe 
distance from Egypt to the pillars of Hercules, tbe other side the line of tbe Nile 
to the extremity of Ethiopia, and the hypotenuse being the bne connecting that 
point with the Pillars of Hercules. According to Juba the Atlantic Ocean began at 
the Mossylian promontory, near the S.-E. extremity of the Eed Sea. 

^Fountain. — The 'Tons Solis " in the Oasis of Siwah, near the Temple of 
Jupiter Ammon. Of this Lucretius says : 

Olden — On tJie Geography of Ros Ailithir. 24t 

From that river south-^ardto the sea is Ethiopia of deep-black colour, 
Across the south of lofty Africa, to Mount Hesperiiun and Atlas.^ 

By the river to the south there is a fountainf that is cold when full day comes ; 
It is hot, though far from the sea, from the time that full night falls. 


By the river on the north is the land, wherein are the mountains Arascins ; 
Land of wild asses^ and famous gems ; land of serpents and unicorns. 


That land whoever visits in its length is a land of serpents and fierce dragons ; 
A people that love not gentle converse ; a desert land of monsters. 


The part from the mountain southward, of Africa in the great heat. 

Has few blossoms to see ; [but] from the motmtain northward it is a fertile soil.' 


Land of chattering blact men ; land without patience — without honour ; 
With stammering wordsJ wherever one argues^ ; land to which Apher gave his name. 

Apher, &c. 


Europa, charming, famous, the brave daughter of Agenor ; 

It was she gave her name to Europe, the place to which she was carried by force. 

The sea surrounds it, as is known, on north, on west, and on south-west ; 
On south and east no weak covenant ; and the river Tanais on the north-east. 

Est apud Hammonis fanum fons, luce diurna 

Frigidus, at calidus nocturno tempore fertur. Lib. vi. 848. 

Ovid also : " Unda die gelida est, ortuque obituque calescit," Met. xv. 310. 

See Curtius, lib. iii. ; PHny, lib. ii. cap. 103; Mela, lib. i. viii. 

s Arascin. — This seems to be Mount Aurasius, " the citadel, and at the same 
time the garden of Numidia. That range of hills, a branch of the Great Atlas, con- 
tains, within a circumference of 120 miles, a rare variety of soil and climate." — 
Gibbon, Bed. and J'a/;, vii. 201 (Ed. 1806). 

^ Wild Asses. — The true Onager or wild ass is indigenous to north-east Africa. 

' This stanza is wanting in the Oxford copy. 

J Stammering words. — "Sunt autem trans ea quae modo deserta diximus muti 
populi et quibus pro eloquio nutus est : alii sine sono linguae, alii sine Unguis alii 
labris etiam cohaerentibus," &c. — Mela, in. xv. 29. This part of the Geography 
ends here, as the letter A indicates, that being the initial of No. xxxiv., the verse 
with which it began. 

"^ Cdtacer. — Ca, and tacraim, tacera, to argue or discuss. 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

[)'C1c1l1A riA ll-AljACIUjA ClIAIt) CA1|\. 1C j^UcIl 'OAtlO© co-mo|Mnui]\ 

'OATiuib |\1A rteyy yA^■\[\ ha -OAit. |aia aiiiaja f]AUc ]\eiTi itn 5e|\TnAin.] 

ifiTi -po ctunim^^ c^c -oia. iclie^* cuaca tia j'cic'hiA 
etAiTn^° 'OAC1A 50CiA^^ S^iT^- get^itiAin cia]\ ic n^uc A]\'o^eiri. 

C]\AC1A mepA pATinoiTi |\eic. pAjA CO n\uc -pein a-|\ nio]\ ineic 
coeb -pA^^ coeb 'oo ■oeifY 'OAiiuib. 6 con^^CATicin o-n pone -mtiiiv. 

ci]A i^AiL mArgAniAin mA'L'L. imniAT) •puciiin^^ ^Y cjAi^^CAtl. 
iTiimA'D [iia] n-ecceci"" co cjmc. o cic ATJAig foLlpgic. 

5|\eic o cj\ACiA feib if ^°' tiA. fA -DeiY co Tnui|\ ce^TA'LiA^''^ 
CO f|^uc |\ein ifet) acciac. ■pAjA j^ec ^int) niAjAA A^oimac. 

ACCA1C1 A Ti-Ai|AclTe|\^''2 cAi|\. cuAcli m6|\ ■pAi'L^o^ imm-on ACAin 

ACAIA ^1A An"Oe]Y ^P^y- '01Ani'Dl°= CAcIi1]A C0|Mllc1lUf. 

1t1 A-pCAIt) fMA AnA1|\ Til CeTpC. 1CA cboC '01ATI AintTI Afbej-c^"^ 

o riA-'p-geib cene c)M b|\vic.^°^ tioco-n-ecA|\^''^ a •oibtDut). 

5^ icclilumitn, E. 
9* Ace, L. 

95 AlAim, R. 

96 gOcllA, R. 

9' IC i^ticViATijAen, R. 

98 pM, R. 

99 piccin, E. 

10° immAt) iieti nicuecli, R. 

"1 AfllA, R. 

"2 c1)rAllA, L. 

1°^ ACC1C imiA liAinc1inin, R. 
10^ pi, R. 

105 -01 All, L. 

los pt ctoc •01A11TO Ainm Af]oei]"c vel 

•pofeij-c, R. 
10' A-pA b]Midi, R. 
108 nocoii|-ecAiA. 

1 This stanza is added from the Oxford ms. 

"> Elimsea in Macedonia, on the frontiers of Epirus and Thessaly. The account 
of Scythia given here is nearly that of Herodotus, and differs altogether from that 
of the writers of the Roman Empire, with whom it means the north of Asia, from 
the Volga to China. 

" Constantmople . — In the original the name is shortened to Constantin, according 
to the Irish fashion of cutting olf the termination of long words : cf . Nabcudon for 
Nebuchadnezzar. — Calendar of Oengus, p. issvi. 

° Winged things. — The' Lampyris ItaUca (?). "This species is very abundant 
throughout the southern parts of Europe, particularly in Italy, where it is named 
L^icciola. The light is not constant, but has a kind of scintillating appearance 

Olden — On the Geography of Eos Ailifkir. 245 

[Scythia has its territory in the nortb-east ; it lies along the Tanais up to the Great Sea ; 
On the south is the Danube -with an eastward course ; on the west the river Ehine 
enclosing Germany.]' 


I hear every day that in it are the territories of Scythia. 

EUmea"^, Dacia, Gothia keen, Germania west, by the stream of lofty Ehine. 

Thracia, Moesia, smooth Pannonia, westward to mighty river Ehine, 

[Lie] side by side south of the Danube, from Constantinople"^ and the Pontic Sea. 

Land in which are sluggish bears, much amber, and crystal. 
And [many] swift- winged things" which illuminate the night. 

Greece [is] from Thracia in its greatest extent; southward to the sea of Cephalonia ; 
To the river Ehine, which is seen to the west beyond the point of the Adriatic Sea. 

The territory of Attica is in the east, the great country which contains Athens ; 
Achaia is on the south, to which belongs the city of Corinth. 

Arcadia, without question, is in the east ; in it is the stone called Asbestos,? 
Since fire affects not its mass, nor is it found to be extinguished. 

recurring at every other instant, as if disclosed by the opening of the wings at each 
successive expansion. It is of considerable intensity in a single insect, but when 
three or four are brought together it is sufficient to render the smallest object 
around quite visible.'' — Naturalisf s Library (Sir J. Jardine), vol. ii. 173. 

" When a niunber of these moving stars are seen to dart through the air in a dark 
night nothing can have a more beautiful effect." — Introduction to Entomology 
(Kii-by and Spence), vol. ii. letter 25. 

Pliny describes them much in the same way, and adds another name : " Cicin- 
delae. . . . Ita appellant rustici stellantes volatus." — 18, 66. 

The Oxiord copy reads — nen nittech, " shining birds " F which seems an attempt 
to explain, but the description can only apply to fire-fiies. 

p Asbestos. — From a, and ff^evvvixi. The copyist of the Oxford ms. seems not 
to have known this word, and proposes as an emendation rofcist, but Mac Cosse 
gives its correct etymology, which seems to imply a knowledge of Greek : " It was 
employed for the wicks of lamps in the ancient temples, and because it main- 
tained a perpetual flame without being consumed, was named Aff^earos, unextin- 
guished. It is now used for the same pui-pose by the natives of Greenland." — 


246 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


ceiyAit^"^ o coninui^" cu-rigtoijA. -[.-o cuato cttf|"-in--niAci'Doin 
ui|\ ipAit immA-o 11-5AI Ti-5tAf]\i^i ci^ inraH^ itiaic mA|\CACA)^. 

inAciTDom ^\ •OAtniAic^^^ TiiAon. iTn-|MTTO a'ojm'aic cen iTn-pol 
lii)"cniA^^* o ■oaLitiaic cu -pein. -po xie^ cru ftiAb ti-Aitp n-A|\'D]\eit. 

ITTO-eCAli f A1]AT)e]' ApA. l-tlAb Altp eCAy\|AU If JAttiA 

•)rmi|v inA cimceLL coii^'^-a niin-pn. oca Ligui-pci^^ co Libtti^vn. 

in fvoimi''' CO li-iiiAjnA A-p a tA|v. caci|\ cuiiLa^^^ tia jAortiAn 
A cuACA cti]"-in-Tniii]\ Tne|\. a]a cac tec 111A cimcliei. 

C]M f|\OCA CeCAIC A ll-Altp. pA|\ •OA|A inn-eOJA&ip Aj^'OAIC*^^ 
f]\UC ]Aei11 pAjX-CUAIt) A|ApA5A1)A.^'° ft^"^ ^IJ^''!'^ T fT*"^ |\0'OAin. 

rAi)\ eci|v ii5ui|\^-^ if -peni. aca ^aLLia tiApbotiein 
ec'-pi^u ci'a)a c]\eic jxa^-^ c|\eic. aca itij'ooii ^'-^ ij' beijeic. 

ACUiccAini^* ino|\ co-ti-A-iniAt), o tipjA co tiiuip co]^|MAn 
CO fl^uc |\o'OAin 1]Y1T1 ^^-c-fLeib. pAjA-oeyy co j^beibi pi]\ein. 

efpAin o fteib p1]^e11l'-^ r'^t^- ^^ait) -oe coeb mA|\A copjMAni^'' 
inuip iriA cimceti cec t>iA. acc iLiec f aija jm gAbtiA. 

iclie^^s cuACA jAbAic^-^ jIaith. jaIIia pecic cmpcAin 
CAH|\Aconenp]" ^a'-^" cte. tucicAin cuac cA)\CAi5iie. 

109 ceff Ai|\, L. 
11" ocVioinic, S. 
"1 gAe li-^bAf, R. 
"2 m, L. 
113 ■OAbmAn, L. 
11* 1]xein, E. 
lis omit, L. 
116 ibAifc, L. 
11^ ItTopom, R. 
lis cuntA, L. 

115 riAlATlAICC, E, 

120 A|\A5A1|\. ]1A|\ .f. bipiA .f. -po- 

121 l,i5i|A, E. [■DAin, E. 

122 f|M, E. 

123 iug-ooin, E. 
1-* ecuiCAHi, L. 

125 ]'A1]\ If, E. 

126 pejAein, L. 
12^ cojA-pieii, E. 

128 ACe,L. 

129 vel gellAic, E. 

13f JMA. 

Olden— Ort the Geography of Bos Ailitldr. 247 

Thessaly from famous Corinth, northward to Macedonia, 

Land wherein are many green spears ;i land of good horsemanship. 


Macedonia, and Dahnatia the firm, are around the point of the Adriatic ; 
Istria from Dalmatia to the Ehine, southward to the lofty conspicuous Alps. 

Italy south-east is its length : the Alps [are] between it and Gaul ; 
The mm-mm-ing sea siurounds it from Liguria to Liburnia. 

Rome with its preparations ready, the politic city of the Romans, 
Her territories reach the lively sea on every side around. 

Three streams issue from the Alps, westward across Europe they appear ; 

The river Rhine is obseiwed in the north-west ; the river Loire and river Rhone. 

In the east, between Loire and Rhine, is GaUia Narbonensis ; 

In the west between them, side by side, are Lugdunum and Belgica. 

Aquitania, great and proud, from the Loire to the Torrian Sea ; 

To the river Rhone in the mountain ; [and] south-west to the Pyrenees. 

Spain, westward from the Pyrenees ; on the north it lies beside the Torrian Sea ; 
The sea is always around it except on the east by Gallia. 

In it are territories known to fame, GaUajcia, Boetica, Tingitana, 
Tari'aconensis the renowned, Lusitania and the territory of Carthagena. 

Dana's Mineralogy, p. 371. It was also manufactured into cloth by the ancients, 
who were acquainted with its incombustibility. It is said that CharlemagTie had a 
tablecloth of this kind, which he used to have thrown into the fije after dinner for 
the astonishment of his guests. It is here said to be found in Arcadia, but Pau- 
sanias says the only place in Greece where it occurred was Ehs, which, however, 
was on the borders of Arcadia. 

1 Spears. — Apparently an allusion to the Macedonian phalanx. 

248 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Aj\-iri-ACiAT|i3i pA|At)e|y ip'A. ecip e^pAin ^]- jAiiiA. 

ci|A |uiAi|\c fuloAc I'ecAib f|\ec. ci]\ ipecAjx^^^ mic niilet) 

ci'|\ riA cLiAU li-gAbtAC co-ii-gioi^.^'^^ ci]a 1]" CA|\bAc |\o ^eyx on. 


"^ MS. A|\tnACiAn. I ^^3 j^-^y^ ri-giejxe ii-gAbtAc pi\i gton, E. 

^^^ A|\ f ecAip, L. I 

Olden — On the Geograpluj of Ros Ailithir. 249 

The island of Britain, victorious land ;"■ the Island of Eriu at its north-west, 
In the ocean it extends south-west, between Hispania and GaUia. 

Land pleasant, joyous, full of wealth ; land where the sons of Milesius are known ; 
Land of glorious branching stems ; land the most fruitful that is known. 

■■ Land : Irug (firicig, anciently mruig), which occurs also in xxvi., appears to be 
akin to the German mark. In the Aremorican dialect, where it takes the form hro, 
it is found applied to England, as here : bro-Zaos, i.e. Saxon land. Zimmer Kelt- 
ische Studien, s. 118. This stanza is wanting in the Oxford ms. 

[Index — next page. 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


Countries and Towns, 






. 62 


21, 34, 40, 41, 43 


Egip. Egipt, . 

17, 33, 37 




. 42 



Eoraip, ... 

. 6, 49, 62 




36, 38, 43 


'. '. 27 



. 67 

Arc aid 




Ammon, . 


Faenicia, . 

. 18 




. 30 



„ bee. 


, 30 


. 30 

Assardai, . 


Germain, . 

. 32 



Germain, . 

. 52 






. 52 
. 55 

60, 65 

Babiloin, . 


,, narbonein. 

. 63 



„ i.e. Gallicia, 

. 66 



Belgeic, . 




Hircain, . 

. 25 




. 27 
. 59 

Capadoic, . 

'. 'l7, 18 



. 30 








. 30 




. 60 

Colocbi, . 


Libuirn, . 

. ib. 




. 35 



,, Cirinensis, 
Lugdon, . 
Lucitain, . 

. 37 
. 63 
. 66 

Dacia (Asia), 



„ (Europe), 





Mesopotamia, . 
Madian, . 

. 12 
. 16 

. 20 


. 65, 


Magena, . 

. 18 




Maritana-Tingitana, . 

. 40 

Olden — On the Geography of Eos AiUthir. 


Index — continued. 

Countries and Towns — continued. 

















Countries and Towns — continued. 



. 58 


. 17 

. 20 

Saircend, . 

. 19 

. 53 


24, 51, 52 


. 23 


. 15 

. 19 


. 32, 33 

. 40 


. 20 


. 20 


. 39 

. 53 

Sirti mora, 

. 38 

. 12 

. 30 

. 12 


. 30 

. 66 


. 39 

. 30 


63, 65 

. 30 

Tingitain (Africa), 

. 40 

. 28 

„ (Europe), 

. 66 

. 38 


. 66 

. 19 


. 58 

. 61 

Ulbhania, . 

. 26 


Muir n-Aigide, . 

. 31 

Muir Propontis, 

. 31 

„ Adrat, 

38, 55 

,, Meoit, 


, Eig, 

. 32 

„ Mor, _ . 

. 33 

, Caisp, 


,, Romuir , . 

. 9, 14, 20 

, Cimer. Cimerda, 

29, 31 

,, Torrian, 17 

36, 42, 64, 65 

, Cifalia, . 

. 55 

,, Euad, 

. 13 

, Immechtrach, . 

. 28 


36, 39, 41, 68 

, Pont, 

. 53 

„ inn-uar, . 

. 22 


Sruth Danai. Dance, 


Sruth Nilus, Nil, 


,, Danuib, . 

. 51, 53 

,, Nuchul, . 

. 41 

„ Dara, 

. 41 

,, Eodan, 

62, 64 

,, Eufrait, . 

14, 16, 17 

,, Eein, 

52, 53, 59, 62, 63 

„ Ind, 

. 9 

» Tigir, . 

12, M 

„ Ligir, 

62, 63, 64 


Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Index — continued. 

Sliab AtMaint, 
„ Arascin, 
„ Ailp, 
„ Cucas. Caucais, 


41, 43 
. 45 
59, 60 
16, 22 

Sliab Cucaiscain, 
,, Isper, 
,, Perein, . 

. 43 

64, 65 

Macalister — Notes on a Mummy. 253 

XXXIX. — I^oTEs ox A Mummy is the possession of Lobd James 
BuTLEE. Ey A. Macalister, M. D., F.R. S., Fellow of St. John's 
College, and Professor of Anatomy in the University of Cambridge. 

[Read, January 22, 1883.] 

Through the kindness of Lord James Butler I have had the opportu- 
nity of assisting at the examination of a female Mummy, which has 
been for some time in his Lordship's collection. It was brought from 
Egypt by Lord Walter Butler about the year 1848, having been pre- 
sented to his Lordship by Mr. Salt ; but as to its original source I have 
no information. 

The body was contained in a single wooden coffin, of the kind which 
is so common from- the twenty-first dynasty onward. The bandages were 
of plain linen, which here and there showed traces as though it had been 
inscribed, but all the surface had long since been destroyed by damage 
and exposure, and the body itself was quite fragmentary. It was that 
of a small middle-aged female, of small stature (under five feet), with 
a well-formed head and (apparently) straight features, and very small 
hands and feet. 

The coffin lid is much broken, but all its pieces are preserved. 
The upper part of the lid is carved in the form of a female face, with 
a namms head-dress, and a pectoral collar of the usual diced pattern, 
with, medially, a winged disk, along the margin of which on each side 
is a line of inscription — 

" Ta an Nut mes neteru." 

" Says Nut, daughter of the gods." 

Below is an oblique chequered band, under which are the eyes of 
Horus, which fill up the corners on each side of the semicircular col- 
lar. Below the eyes on each side is a ram with a double feather 
between his horns, and standing on a standard, the emblem of Horus ; 
and between these, on each side, are ten short vertical lines of in- 
scription, separated in the middle by a winged disk, and the nuh or 
emblem of gold. These lines read thus, on the right : — 

Give royal supplies, Osiris. 

Unnefer, Great God, Lord of Heaven*** 

Great God, may lie give bread. 

Beer, thousands of wax. 

Thousands of all things good, pure. 

Thousands of wax. 

Thousands of offerings all pure. 

Thousands of offerings all good. 

Thousands of all things delicious. 

Palm-fruits, thousands of. 

To the spirit of * * * 


254 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

On the left the inscriptions read. : — 

Give royal supplies, Nut. 

Daughter of the gods, Lady of Heaven. 

* may she give all things. 
Good, pure * 
Thousands of. 

All things delicious, palm-fruits. 

Things, offerings all, thousands of good offerings. 

Wine, delicious palm-fruits. 

Offerings to the spirit of the Osiris, the Lady of the House. 

* * * 

* daughter of Tafnext justified. 

Below these is a single chequered band across the middle of the 
lid, from side to side, under which is a single line of hieroglyphs read- 
ing from left to right, thus : — 

Suten ta hetep Asar Unnefer neter aa ta nef aka heqt 

Give royal supplies, Osiris Onnophris, great god, may he give bread, beer, 

ahau x^ ^^^ aptu x^ s™ neter senter x^ ^m hebs men^ en ka 

oxen, thousands of ducks, thousands of incense, thousands of clothing, to the 

en Asar nebt pet Tes net per ma%eru xer neter aa neb 

spirit of the Osiris, lady of the house, Tesnetper, justified before the great god, 

pet Abutu 

lord of heaven in Abydos. 

Another chequered line comes below this, then a single dark fillet 
with light borders, and still lower is a row of vignettes in a cross line 
representing the judgment scene in the hall of the two truths, as 
shown in the vignette to the 125th chapter of the Eitual of Osiris or 

This picture is double, the scene being laterally reduplicated. In 
the middle are two figures of Osiris the judge, seated back to back, 
bearing the atef and pschent crowns, and having in his hand the uas, 
or sceptre, heq, or hook, and nex^x^ or whip. Before him is an upright 
stake, whereon is suspended a slain sacrifice ; but the four genii of the 
Amenti are not represented. Facing Osiris, and next to the altar, 
stands Thoth, ibis-headed, the recorder, with style and tablet, taking 
the place of Horus, and introducing the draped figure of the dead by 
the hand ; behind whom stands Ma, the goddess of truth, presenting 
the dead with her two hands. Three figures stand behind : one a re- 
duplication of Ma, the others being Sekhet (cat-headed), and a bearded 
figure. Still farther out is the balance, under one beam of which sits 
Set, superintending one scale ; while Horus, as a hawk-headed figure, 
presides over the other. 

Below this line of pictures, after four plain brown fillets, is another 
cross line of hieroglyphs reading thus : — " Give royal siipplies, Osiris 
xenti, lord of Taser, great god, lord of Abydus dwelling in Abydus, 

Macalister — Notes 0)i a Mummy. 255 

may he give bread, beer, oxen, thousands of incense, thousands of all 
things good, pure, was, all things good." Then come four more black 
bands, beneath which are ten small vignettes in a cross series, sepa- 
rated by nine short lines of hieroglyphs. 

The central vignette is the usual embalming scene, with Anubis, 
jackal-headed, operating on the body of the dead, which lies on a bier, 
over which the human-headed bird, emblem of the soul, hovers. This 
is the largest of the pictures of this row, and along its right margin is 
a line of writing: "Anubis, lord of both lands"; along its left is 
" Osiris, lord * * *■ may he give all good things." To the right from 
within outwards are figures of Tuautmutef, jackal-headed ; Hapi, 
baboon-headed ; Amset (destroyed) ; and the hawk of Horus crowned 
by the sun's disk. To the left are Thoth, ibis-headed ; Turn, Feith, 
and an obliterated figure ; with a hawk to the extreme left like that 
on the right. The lines of writing between these are, on the right, 
" Says Hapi, may he give all things." " Osiris neter x^^^^, may he 
give"; to the left are, "Says Neith, good goddess, may she give." 
"Says Tum, lord of both lands, may he give." "All things pure, 
good, thousands." " ^' * great gods "^ ^"" 

Still lower is another chequered band over a cross band of hiero- 
glyphs : " Give royal supplies Osiris Unnefer, the great god of Abydus, 
Anubis dwelling in the divine palace * * lord of Taser, lord of both 
lands, may he give clothing, wine, oxen, thousands of wax, thousands 
of incense, thousands of ." 

The lower part of the coffin lid, from about the level of the middle 
of the thigh to the foot, is vertically divided into three parts : in the 
middle is a line of vignettes and vertical lines of hieroglyphs ; while 
on the side there are smaller lateral vignettes, and shorter cross lines 
of inscription. 

The first central vignette is that of an invocator before a table of 
offerings, invoking figures of Thoth, Shu, and Atum, similar to the 
vignette of chapter 114 of the Ritual; below this are six vignettes of 
standing figures of Neith, Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, Chnum, and Tefnut ? 
Along each side of these are three vertical lines of inscription, which 
read as follows on the left side : — 

Ta an * * * Anpu x^nti neter pa Anpu suti neb ta ta ta 

Says ? Anubis dwelling in the temple, Anubis, lord of both lands, may 

ef xet neb abtu ^a em merhu en ka en Asar nebt pet 

he give all things pure, thousands of wax, to the spirit of the Osiris, lady of the 

Tes net per maxeru nebt amax ■ s at Tafnext maxeru neb amax x^r 

house T- justified, all justified, daughter of T. justified all consecrated before the 

neteru nebt pet Anpu x^^^^ neter ha 

gods, lords of heaven, Anubis dwelling in the temple. 

Ta * * x^nti uast * * ta ef aka heqt ahau x^ ^m x^t 

Says dwelling in may he give bread, beer, oxen, thousands of all 

256 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

nebt nefer abt x^ ^^^ merliu en ka en Asar nebt pet Tes net 

things, good, pure, thousands of wax, to the spirit of Osiris, lady of the house, T. 

maxeru nebt amax . x^' • ahau x^ aptu x^' ^^^ neter 

justified, all justified, thousands of oxen, thousands of ducks, thousands of 

senter aku x^t neb menx 
incense, bread, aU things, clothing. 

Ta an Asar IJnnefer neter aa ta ef aku heqt arp x^ 

Says Osiris Onnophi'is, great god, may he give bread, beer, wine, thousands 

em ahau x^ s™- aptu x^' ^^ neter senter x^ 6™^ hebs menx ^^ -^^ 

of oxen, thousands of ducks, thousands of incense, thousands of clothing, to the 

en Tes net per maxeru sa Tafnext nebt amax X^r neteru aa . nebt 

spirit of T . justified, daughter of T . all justified before the great gods, lords 

pet x^r neteru Ptah . Sexar Amset neb 

of heaven, before the gods Plah Socharis Amset, lord. 

On the right side the lines read as follows : — 

Ta Anpu * * neter aa neb Abutu Amset ta ef aka heqt 

Says Anubis * * god, great lord of Abydus Amset, may he give bread, beer, 

xa em ahau x^' ^m aptu xa em neter senter x^ em menx 

thousands of oxen, thousands of ducks, thousands of incense, thousands of clothing, 

hebs xet neb . xa em merhu en ka en nebt pet Tes net per 

all things, thousands of wax, to the spirit of the lady of the house, T . 

maxeru nebt amax 
justified, all consecrated. 

neb pa Tat Asar Sokar Amset ta ef aka heqt 

lord of the house, Tat, Osiris Soxaris Amset, may he give bread, beer, 

arp x^- 6™ ahau x^ ^™ ^P^^ X^ ^^ neter senter x^ em 

wine, thousands of oxen, thousands of ducks, thousands of incense, thousands of 

menx hebs en ka en Asar nebt pet Tes net per maxeru neb 

clothing, to the spirit of the Osiri, lady of the house, T justified all, consecrated 

amax sa Tafnext maxeru — — Anpu x^^ti Abutu . Anpu xen ti ta 

daughter of T. justified, Anubis, dweUing in. Abydus, Anubis dweUing, 

ef ta ef aka heqt x^ ^m ahau x^ em aptu 

may he give may he give bread, beer, thousands of oxen, thousands of ducks, 

xa em neter senter en ka en Tes net per . maxeru neb amax X^^" • 

thousands of incense, to the spirit of T. justified, all consecrated before 

sa . Tafnei^t maxeru ;^er neter aa 
daughter of T. justified before the great gods. 

Macalister — Notes on a Mummy. 257 

Two longer lines of vertical inscription lie outside a vertical che- 
quered band on each side of the inscriptions just given ; the one on the 
left side reads as follows : — 

Ta suten hetep Net nebt pet her neteru Anpu 

Give royal supplies Neith lady of heaven, over the gods, Anubis 

xenti em neter pa . ta ef x^^ ^^^- ^e(\t x^ ^m ahau 

dweUing in divine palace, may he give all things, beer, thousands of oxen, 

Xa em aptu x^ ^^^ neter senter ^a em hebs men^ en ka en 

thousands of ducks, thousands of incense, thousands of clothing, to the spirit of 

Asar nebt pet Tes net per ma^eni. 
the Osiris, lady of the house, T. justified. 

The corresponding line on the right side is damaged, but seems iden- 
tical, except that it ends " sat Tafne;)(t," " daughter of Tafne^t." 

The small side vignettes are — first, Hapi standing, and surrounded 
by the inscription — 

Ta Hapi Asar . Tes net per * * * 

Says Hapi the Osiris T 

net amax sa Tafnext maxeru neb amax • maxeru neb amax 

all consecrated, daughter of T. justified, all consecrated, justified, all conse- 

xer neb 
crated before lord. 

Hepi neb Tanen Asar Tes net per maxeru x^r neter neb 

Hepi, lord, of Tanen T justified before aU the gods. 

Hetep (thrice repeated) en ka en Asar nebt pet Tes net per maxeru 

Offerings to the spirit of the Osiris, lady of the house, T justified. 


The second vignette represents Kabhsenuf, and is bordered by the 
following short lines of inscription : — 

Ta Kabhsenuf a Asar 

Says K. of the Osiris. 

Tes net per maxeru xer em * 
T . justified before the * 

maxeru nebt pet x^'^ ^^^ neter her 

justified, lady of the house, before aU goods over. 

heqt x^ em neter senter x^ ^^^ ahau x^' 6°^ aptu 

beer, thousands of incense, thousands of oxen, thousands of ducks. 

258 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

en ka en Asar neb pet Tes net per maxeru nebt amax 

to the spirit of tbe Osiris, lady of tbe house, T justified all, consecrated 

xer neb neter aa 
before all great gods. 

The third vignette represents Anubis, and round him are the 
lines : — 

Ta Anpu 
Says Anubis. 

Asar nebt pet ? 

Osiris, lady of the house, Tes net per justified. 

nebt amax X^^ neter nebt pet her ta ef akau 

all consecrated before the gods, lord of heaven, ruler of ? may he give bread, 

xa em neter senter x^ s™- hetepu x^ ^^^ merhi, x^ ^^ 

thousands of incense, thousands of funeral gifts, thousands of wax, thousands of 

xet nebt merhu x^ ^^ ^^^ nefer 

all things, wax, thousands of all things good. 

The fourth vignette represents Horus, and his inscription is simi- 
lar : — 

Ta an Har pen Asar Tes net per maxeru sat 

Says Horus Osiris, T . justified, daughter of 

Tafnext maxeru neb Amax x®^ neter aa ta ef x^^ ^^^ 

Tafnext justified, all consecrated before the great gods, may he give all things, 

heqt arp . x^ ^^ X^t neb nefer netem bener x^ ^^^ merhu 

beer, -wine, thousands of all things, good, sweet, delicious, thousands of wax, to 

en ka en Asar nebt pet Tes net per 

the spirit of the Osiris, lady of the house, T. 

The fifth vignette is one of Seb, surrounded by a line of inscrip- 
tion : — 

Ta an Seb erpa neteru x^' ^^ ahau x^ ^n merhu x^ 6° 

Says Seb, prince of the gods, thousands of oxen, thousands of wax, thousands 

xet neb en ka en Asar nebt pet Tes net per maxeru 

of ail things, to the spiiit of Osiris, lady of the house, T. justified. 

On the right side the succession of vignettes is Amset, Tuautmutef , 
Anubis, and Seb, around each of which is a similar inscription : — 

Ta Amset neter maxeru nebt amax x^r neter aa 

Says A. lord to Tes net per, justified all, consecrated before the great gods, 

Macalister — Notes on a Mummy. 259 

ahau aptu aka abt xa em eu ka en Asar nebt pet 

oxen, diicks, bread, pure, thousands of, to the spiiit of the Osiris, lord of the house, 

Tes net per maxeru nebt amax 

T . justified, all consecrated. 

Ta an Tuautmutef her maxeru sa nebt pet 

Says Tuautmutef, lord of justified, daughter of the lady of the house, 

next maxeru nebt amax X^r neter aa ta ef art aka neter 

Tafnext, justified all, consecrated before the great gods ; may he give wine, bread, 

senter hetepu x^t neb ar ab mu . en ka en nebt pet Tes net per 

incense offerings, all things pure, to the spirit of the lady of the house, T. 


Ta Anpu x^^'^i neter pa Asar Tes net per maxeru 

Says Anubis, dwelling in the divine palace, the Osiris, T. justified, daughter 

maxeru neb amax X^^ neter aa sa nebt 

of T. justified, aU consecrated before the great gods, daughter of T. justified 

xeru x^r neter aa ta ef x^- en x^t hetepu en ka en nebt pet 

before the great god ; may he give thousands of things, offerings, to the spirit of 

Tes net per maxeru 

the lady of the house, T. justified. 

net ta ef nebt anx hetepu nebt 

may he give all things living, offerings all. 





tef tef tei 

en ka en 


to the 

spirit of. 





Asar nebt pet Tes net per maxeru 
Osiris, lady of the house, T. justified, 

sat Tafnext maxeru xer neb neter aa 

daughter of Tafnext, justified before all the great gods. 

On the foot of the lid is a standing figure of Isis as an invocator, 
and around it — 

hetepu nebt en ka en Tes net tes per maxeru tef tef tef nebt 
All funeral feasts, to the spirit of T. justified, offerings aU, 

en ka en nebt pet S. net per maxeru 

to the spirit of the lady of the house, T. justified. 

It will be seen that the spelling of the name has been carelessly 
done here. 

260 Pt'oceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

The inside of the lid was whitened, and adorned with, in the cen- 
tre, a female figure as invocator, about two feet and a half high, with 
an inscription above and below : these, like the similar liue of hiero- 
glyphs which engirdled the lid on the inside of its margin, are very- 
much injured. These are, however, identical with corresponding 
inscriptions on the inside of the coffin. 

The body of the coffin is closely written over within and without. 
On the inside there is a line of inscription commencing at the head, 
and continuous all round the side to the feet. The two side halves of 
the line begin at the middle of the head, and pass down on each side 
till they meet at the feet. Along the left side this is a suten ta hetep in 
the name of Osiris Unnefer, the great god, lord of Abydus, Amset, 
Anubis, dwelling in the divine palace, and a request for bread, beer, 
oxen, ducks, incense, clothing, wax, and thousands of good things, to 
the spirit of Tesnetper. Along the right side is a similar invocation 
in the name of Osiris Unnefer, belonging to Lycopolis, and of Tuaut- 
mutef ; at the foot are the words tef, tef, tef\ hetep, hetep, hetep. 

On the inside of the bottom of the coffin is the longest of the in- 
scriptions, which reads as follows : — 

Give royal supplies, Osiris, \ -^^^ii- ?™,-i ^^ j — '"' ? of Abydus, Anu- 
•' ri ) ^ y dwelling m the place divme j •' 

bis (Xeith, Amset), Osiris Unnefer, Osiris, lord of Tattu, Osiris Solaris, Anubis 

dwelling in the divine palace. May he give bread, beer, oxen, ducks, thousands of 

incense, thousands of wrappings, thousands of wax, thousands of wax, thousands 

of all things good, pure, thousands of all things delicious, sweet, thousands of 

offerings all, thousands of offerings all, thousands of wax, to the spirit of the 

Osu-is, lady of the house, Tesnetper, justified, all consecrated before the great gods 

of Abydus. May he give all things good, pure, thousands of wax, thousands of aU 

things sweet, delicious, thousands of wax, thousands of aU funeral meats, thousands 

of all offerings, thousands of incense, thousands of all things good, delicious, sweet, 

to the spirit of the Osiris, lady of the house, Tesnetper, justified, all consecrated 

before the great gods. 

The figure of the female is the same as on the lid ; on each side of 
the figure are two short vertical lines : — 

Ta an Nut neb ta ta nefer ta . s x^t neb nefer neter bener 
Says Nut, lord of both lands, good. May she give all things good, delicious. 

Ta Anpu neb ta ta 

Says Anubis, lord of both lands. 

The lines below the feet are very much obliterated, the gummy 
material used in the embalming having stuck to the composition on 
the wood of the coffin, and obliterated the hieroglyphs. The parts 
left read like those above. 

On the outside of the coffin are, in the middle, five long vertical 
lines of inscription from the head-dress to the feet, which read as fol- 
lows : — 

Ta suten betep Ra Harmaxis neter aa neb pet Ea per 

Give royal supplies, Ra Harmaxis, great god, lord of heaven, Ea coming 

Macalister — Notes on a Mummy. 261 

em akhu pen Ta ef per er x^ru hetepu neb tefu neb en ka en 

from this rising. May lie give funeral meats, all supplies, all offerings, to the 

bread and beer 

nebt pet Tes net per maxeru nebt amax teri a i f necht 

spirit of the lady of the house, T. justified all, consecrated, daughter of Tafnext, 

maxeru. (Mistake for sa Tafnext maxeru.) 


Ta suten hetep Ptah Soxaris Osiris her ha pet Ta ef per 

Give royal supplies, Ptah, Soxaris, Osiris, lord of heaven. May he give 

er xeru ahau aptu neter senter merhu menx hebs xet neb nefer abt 

funeral meats, oxen, ducks, incense, wax, clothing, all things good, pure, 

en ka en neb pet Tes net per maxeru 

to the spirit of the lady of the house, T. justified. 

Ta suten hetep Anpu am TJtu n neb Taser en amenti 

Give royal supplies, Anubis, belonging to Lycopolis, lord of Taser in the West, 

neb (Anpu) x^^iti neter pa ta ef per er x^ru hetepu neb 

Anubis, dwelling in the temple ; may he give funeral meats, gifts all, 

tefu neb * * * 

offerings all, 

Ta suten hetep Seb erpa neter ta ef per er x^ru arp . s art 

Give royal supplies, Seb, prince of the gods. May he give funeral meats, wine, 

xet nefer en ka en nebt pet Tes net per maxeru nebt amax 

things good, to the spirit of the lady of the house, T. justified, all purified. 

Ta suten hetep Asar x^^^-i ament neter aa neb Abut 

Give royal supplies, Osiris, dwelling in the west, great god, lord of Abydus. 

Ta ef per er xeru ahau aptu neter senter en ka en nebt pet Tes 

May he give funeral meats, oxen, ducks, incense, to the spirit of the lady of 

net per maxeru nebt amax sa t Tafnext maxeru 

the house, justified, all consecrated, daughter of T. justified. 

These lines, included in aclieqiiered border, occupy the middle 
part of the coffin, while the rounded sides are covered with short 
cross lines, thirty-seven on the right, and forty on the left. These 
read continuously, the right being — 

Ta suten hetep Asar x^nti uasti ament neter aa neb Abutu 

Give royal supplies, Osiris, dwelling in the west of Thebes, great god, lord of Aby- 

ta ef per er xeru x^ em art x^ em heqt x''' em 

dus ; may he give funeral meats, thousands of wine, thousands of beer, thousands of 


262 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

ahau x^ em ajjtu x^ em neter senter x^ ^n merhu 

oxen, thousands of clucks, thousands of incense, thousands of vax, 

xa em men^ hebs menx x^ e™ ''•^'P ^^ ^t . x^ em hetepu 

thousands of clothing, thousands of wine thousands of funeral 

xa em tefu x^ em xet neb nefer abt x^ xet 

meats, thousands of offerings, thousands of all things good, pure, thousands of all 

nebt netem bener anx neter am . en ka en nebt pet 

things sweet, delicious, living, divine, to the spirit of the lady of the house, 

Tes net per maxeru nebt amax sa t . i fnext maxeru nebt amax 

T. justified, all consecrated daughter of Tafnext, justified all, conse- 

ar ten neb . s . rr . maxeru nebt amax xer Asar xenti 

crated, done, before all, justified, aU consecrated before Osiris, dwelling 

em Abutu 
in Abydos. 

It will be seen here that the mother's name is again misspelled. 
On the left side these cross lines are much damaged, but they 
read : — 

Ta Ea Harmaxis * * x^ em heqt x^ em art x^ em 

Says, Ea Harmaxis, thousands of beer, thousands of wine, thousands of 

ahau x^ em aptu x^ em merhu xa em hebs menx x^ em 

oxen, thousands of ducks, thousands of wax, thousands of clothing, thousands of 

neter senter xa em hetepu xa em tefu neb 

incense, thousands of offerings, thousands of gifts, all, &c. 

and so on, as on the other side. 

The back inscriptions are scrawled and frequently misspelled, but 
there is close under the margin, separated therefrom and from the 
cross lines by chequered bands, a very well executed line which is 
precisely similar to the legend of the cross lines on the right, but 
■^fhich on the left reads — 

Ta suten hetep Seb erpa neteru Anpu . her Taser neb ta ta Amset 

ta ef, &c. 

The name of the lady is one with which I am not familiar, but it 
is one of a group which seemed to be fairly common, especially in the 
new Empire. Thus Lieblein has chronicled examples of Tes-mut-per 
(1118 and 1329), Tes-ra-per (1136), Tesxonsu (1187), and Tes-aset- 
per (1155). Most of these have the peculiar determinative, somewhat 
like a linear quadruped vrith erect tail sitting on its hind legs, and 
resembling the figure with the syllabic value set. 

The mother's name Tafnext is not so uncommon, and examples of 
it are given in Lieblein (1066 and (1067). 

In all cases Tes-net-per's name is spelled with a prosthetic s, which 
is simply a phonetic complement of the syllabic sign for tes. 








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f <: 














Proc. R.I.A., Vol. 2, Sei. ii. Plate XVII. 

<2> <3> 

1 qAi 

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Macalister — On a Monume)it of Rid. 263 

XL. — On a Monument of Rxji in the Dublin National Museuji. 
Br A. Macalister, M.D., F.E.S. (Plates XYI. and XYII.) 

[Read, June 11, 1883.] 

A little stone statue in the National Museum is one of the few Egyp- 
tian specimens in the collection. No record exists, to my knowledge, 
to indicate its source, but it originally formed part of the collection of 
the Royal Dublin Society. It is in an exceedingly bad state of pre- 
servation, and has been sorely weathered, so that the right side of the 
figure has lost its entire surface, with the inscription thereon, and the 
back has been so much defaced that with difficulty can many parts of 
its inscription be reconstructed. 

The block is in the form of a squatting figure, with a flat back 
forming a tablet. Above, it is surmounted by a head, on the flat top 
surface in front of which are the outlines of two hands carved. The 
head is very much worn, but had originally a sort of namms head- 

The stone is a very soft yellow sandstone, so powdery that it 
crumbles when shaken never so lightly, and the whole block is in 
size about 18 inches by 15 by 12. 

It bears an inscription around its front and sides in horizontal 
lines, reading from right to left (PI. XYI.), and a second inscription 
on the flat back (PL XYII.), both commonplace enough proscynemata, 
but interesting as memorials of a remarkable man. 

The inscription on the front (PI. XYI.) reads thus : — 

{\) Suten hetep ta Mtntu'em Ani nebt Ara sat Ra **« 

Give royal supplies, Mentu in Hermonthis, the lady of ) the daughter of the ) 

Uraeus j sun. j 

* * * ? her tep ? * * (Neb ?) ta hent neterii 

chief over Nephthys ? mistress of the gods. 

(2) Ta sen per er yeru aptiu ahem dhau menx hebs, x<^ ^'>n x^^ 
May they give funeral meats, ) geese, oxen, bread, clothing, thousands of all 

bread, beer, / 

nebt nefert dbt tutu pet qamat ta 

things, good, pure, gifts of heaven, treasures of the earth. 

(3) Anentiu Hapi em tephet ef en ha en an mer tpa 
Things brought by the Nile from his secret places to the ha of the scribe, chief | 

of the palace, j 

mer pa x^^'m Bui Ta sen per aq 

superintendent of the ) Rui. May they give to go in | 

treasury | and out. / 

264 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

(4) Un a2n ta en Tea en mer setit [uta) Mentu em An 

as upon earth to the ka of the superintendent of the \ of Mentu in Hermonthis 

granaries j 

Rui Ta sen Tahuti « * * * 

Eui. May they give the feast of Thoth * 

(5) sura * per her heru [em s-het) * » * hehui en 

to cause to drink, to travel the roads (in light ?) (and not in ?) darkness to the 

^ ^ (ofKarneter) or 

,"' ^^ (to drive away) 

ka of \ j> 

In this inscription, the first difficulty is in the names of the divi- 
nities. Mentu is plain, and the last maybe Nephthys, or possibly Rata, 
the female member of the triad of Hermonthis : but so much of the 
second is lost that it is very doubtful ; it is certainly not Sarpa ra, 
but may be Isis. Chonsii sometimes appears as the third of this tri- 
nity ; but the feminines show that it is not so here. 

In line 4 the character after Tahuti is gone ; and in line 5 all 
from lieru to hehui is unrecognisable. 

The inscription on the back (PL XYII.) is still more imperfect, 
and all the lines have lost their beginnings and endings : what is 
recoverable reads thus : — 

(1) * Mentu Ant Rui tet ef 

in Hermonthis Rui he says — 

(2) * (an;;^i ?) u api ta uah sem * * * 
Oh ! living on earth, approachers, passers-hy * 

* * 

(3) {lit ?) u pen tcfu abu hehkar neter hent 
this stele, fathers, priests, ministers of the divine majesty * 

(4) * lies ten ar ten hebu suten ten * mer * * 
your praises, ye keep the feasts, royal your * loving. 

(5) an ten * em te^es * * tet ten * * * 
as ye would not die ? say ye. 

(6) * * em, * anxu nefer u uah ma * * [ctpi ta ?) 

on ? life, happiness, increase, as (one upon earth). 

(7) Huten * u x^i [i^^^ netem bener ?) aptiu alum akau 
Royal * things all sweet, dehcious, geese, oxen, bread. 

(8) x^ ^"^ X*^^ '''^^ nefer aht en ha en an. mer pa 

thousands of all things, good, pure, to the spirit of the scribe, major domo. 

The characters which occupied the lacunae in this, especially in the 
lines 6 and 7, are not traceable on the monument. In line 5 the cha- 
racters I have read te^es are very vague, and the determinative is gone. 

Macaltster — On a Monument of Rui. 265 

The entire back inscription is surmounted by the Utds, rigbt and 
left eyes of Horus, with between them a sen or ring. 

The person herein commemorated is the famous Piui, the Superior 
of the house of Hatasu, who flourished about 1300 b. c. under Menep- 
thah II., Hotephima, and his successor Seti II. He filled the offices 
of Commander of the Legion of Amen, Superintendent of the Store- 
house of Amen, Chief of Constructions, High Priest of Amen, and, 
according to this moniiment, he was Mayor of the Palace, Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, and Superintendent of the Granaries. 

The name Eui is peculiar, although it occurs elsewhere as an 
Egyptian personal name ; ^ and Prugsch Pacha has very ingeniously 
conjectured {^Geschichte, p. 584) that the name is of Semitic origin. 
The Egyptian CD is most frequently transliterated into Hebrew as ^, 
as in Rebu, and Putennu for Lubim and Ludim ; also in the Coptic 
we find the letters X and p used interchangeably in spelling the 
same words in difi;erent dialects, and for foreign words ;- similarly the 

1 See Lieblein's Dictionary, Nos. 623, 635, 704, 798, 858, 908, 909, 930, 953, 
and 1018. Of these ten inscriptions (mostly, if not all, of the period of the Israel- 
itish residence in Egypt) three (90S, 909, 930) are most probably relative to our 
hero. The inscription commemorating him from West Silsilis (Lepsius, Denhmiiler, 
III. 200, 2) gives the particulars of some of his offices as follows: — Erpaha, or 
Prince of the first rank ; Commander of the Legion of Amen ; Superintendent of 
the Great House of Amen ; Superintendent of the Treasury of Amen in the days of 
Menephthah II. The inscription given by Lepsius (p. 237) is of his son E,uma, 
who fulfilled some of these ofiices in the next reign. 

Of the persons of the name Rui enumerated in Lieblein the following are the 
genealogies : — The first is Amen-Eui, son of Amen Xebuahab and his wife Sata- 
men, brother of Aakheperka (Leiden). The second from Munich, is the priest Rui, 
whose wife Ai had four sons, Meriara, Uaunexeta, Ab-mai, and Amhebra, and two 
daughters Pipiu and Ani. The third from Vienna is in the family of the " Wise 
Divine Scribe Shebeth" and his sister Ptahmerit, whose son was the scribe of the 
hierogrammatic school of the Lord of the two lands, Parenen, and his daughter 
Xefer Ari, whose daughter was Amen Mes. Rui the Merpa, or ruler of the house, 
was brother of Shebeth, and had another brother Ptahemhat, and two sisters Meri- 
nub and Merataxet. All these belonged to dynasties earlier than the xixth_ The next 
from Turin is a lady, Rui, daughter of Ptahemheb and his wife Raau, who had 
brothers Uaui and Maaui. In a tablet in London (Lieblein, 953) is a genealogy of 
the descendants of Xashait, whose children were Bai and Rui, whose son was Chief 
of Constructions to the King, and his daughter Pipui ; their children were Ame- 
nuahsu, son ; the Priest of the House of the Sacred Scribes, Rui, son ; Ptahmua, 
son ; and Anaahi, daughter. These names singularly resemble those in 635, and 
are probably of the same family. 

One stele in Boulaq (Xo. 67) bears the name of An-rui, son of Aahmes. 

2 Thus, for example, in the 10th of Acts, the Coptic Testament has in some 
dialects KOpItHpIOC for Kopv^xivs, and in many other instances these letters 
are used convertibly in the different dialects : thus the Bashmuric uses A very 
frequently, where the Boheirish or Sahidic use p, as in A6CIJI for p<LCyi, 
or JULeXVT for JULGpV*", &c. Modern Coptic in all its dialects sometimes 
follows the more Shemitic usage, and replaces with A the old Egyptian O, as for 

266 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Egyptian form Aram is used for D/^j/ (Brugscli, Geog. Ins. i. 68, ii. 23, 
31, 37, iii. 50), T^hile conversely Arya or Bactria is transliterated in 
Egyptian al (Brugsch, Geog. Ins. iii. 66). 

Erom this it may be inferred that Rui = Lui, and this, with the 
consonantal sound given to the Yau (as in the case of ]1 J^, the Egyptian 
An, which in EzekieP, xxx. 17, is pointed \).^) would indicate that 
the name E,ui was, as Brugsch supposed, the Egyptian equivalent of 
the Hebrew Levi. 

If this be so, then Eui or Levi may have been an Israelite by birth, 
although emphatically an Egyptian by professed faith ; and by confor- 
mity to the customs of the country, this primitive Beaconsfield rose to 
the highest pinnacle of power, like his predecessor and compatriot 
Joseph. In his monuments, unlike mi t other Egyptian personages, 
he does not, as far as I know, give us his m other's name nor his ancestry ; 
but he enumerates the list of offices which he filled, which were indeed 
the chief posts in the land — religious, military, and civil — some of 
which he transmitted to his son Ru-ma. 

Rui must have occupied this position of influence during the trou- 
blous times for Israel which culminated in the Exodus, and must thus 
have been brought into forcible collision with his greater and more 
noble compatriot Moses, whose stern refusal of compliance with the 
requirements of Egyptian worship possibly may have opened the way 
for the political success of his more wily fellow-countryman. 

One can scarcely imagine that these two could have been contem- 
poraries, especially if they were really of the same nation, without 
being bitter foes : and perhaps, without straining conjecture too far, 
we may here find the key of a mystery which has long puzzled many 
acute minds. The Apostle Paul, quoting one of the Jewish historical 
traditions, speaks of Moses' Egyptian antagonists as Jannes and Jam- 
bres (2 Tim. iii. 8). The first of these is called in various records 
by words which are difi^erent modifications of the one well-known 
Egyptian name Ani,^ a name as old as the shepherd kings, one of 

instance CJOAl for <;^ In otlier languages not cognate the same interchange is 

familiar : thus the Pehlvi use I where the Zend has r, and in general the physio- 
logical relations of these two letters are the closest possible. The reverse change 
of a Greek p into an Egyptian 3,^^ is seen in the hieroglyphic rendering of the 
name of the wife of Ptolemy II., Arsinoe, which is written Als-ar-na, while the 
similar name of the wife of Philopator I. is spelled Al-si-nia. 

1 The alteration in pointing in this passage in Ezekiel is intended evidently to 
be suggestive of the vanity of the idolatry of On, just as a similar meaning in Ho- 

sea, iv. 15, is expressed by the use of ]lj^"n^3 for /^^'TT^in. 

See in this connexion also the interesting point, lost in our English version in 
Micah, i. 13, where the words li'^^/ and Ii^^"l are used in close connexion as 

' ' -TV V 

a kind of poetic word-play. 

2 The names of these two magicians are given in very varied forms by the older 

Macalister — On a Monument of Rui. 267 

"wliom, according to Manetho, was lania (Josephus, Contra Afion. 
n. xiv.). 

The other name has puzzled etyraologists, and appears in a variety 
of fancy guises : it is lamhres, Ilamre, Ifamh'es, lamhariis, Amlrose, 
lomhros, Lotapa,^ Jotapma, or Cabala. In all these versions, except the 
last three, the radicals are Am and Ro ; the "^ being evidently eupho- 
nic,'^ as in the oldest Talmudic form it is written J^"},^^ ; in which 
form the name resolves itself without much difficulty into An mer Rui, 
or simply An Rui, " the priest Rui," the modification being very much 
less than that by which Ayii has become Jochanne, Jamnes, or Aves. 
In the absence of any reason to the contrary, in the view of their 
contemporaneity, of their both belonging to the priesthood, of their 
certainly being on opposite sides, and possibly being of a common na- 
tionality, we may therefore identify this priest Pto, or Ru, with our 

writers ; the oldest forms occur among the Talmudists : thus in the tract Mennchoth of 
the Babylonian Talmud (eh. ix. p. 85, col. 1, Amsterdam edition, 1715) the names 

are given as J^H^^l ^^^nV, lochanna and Mamre. In other Talmudic refe- 
rences lannes appears as ''jHl, ^^!]m^, or J^^nV, while lambres is some- 
times ''TpQ or J^npQ. The rabbinical writers also vary the spelling conside- 
rably : thus in the Zohar on Numbers, xxii. 22 (Frankf. 1709, p. 90, col. 2) Rabbi 
Simeon (or his disciple who wrote it) spells them D'^JV and DTH^DV, lones 
and lomhros. In the Midrash Tanxuina (section Ki Tesha, Frankf. 1701, p. 38) 
they are nearly the same, lo7ios and lomhros, while R. Gedaliah ben lechaija ia 
Shalsheleth Hakabbala (Venet. 1587, p. 13, c. 2, last line) calls them "IJ^Tl 
T^^^D113?!DJ^T' *^^* ^®' lohannis and Ambrosius, lohn and Ambrose. lannes 
is rendered lamnes, and lambres Mambres, in the Yulgate ; and I believe that the 
form JJejannes exists in an Arabic catena, coupled with the names of lamharus and 
Sarudas. Tedac Levi, quoted by Fabricius {Codex Pseudepigraphicics, Hamb. 1713, 
p. 813), calls them Aves and Samres. Glycas Siculus (Diss. 1736, vol. i. p. 33) ren- 
ders it Zambres. The Greek form used in 2 Tim. iii. 8 is 'lavvrjs and lajxfipris, 
as in Eusebius {Prceparaiio Evangelica, lib. ix. c. 8, ed. Paris, 1628, p. 435), 
where, in the quotation from Numenms Apameus the Pythagorean, they are called 
tepoypa/j-iuLaTeis, and are said to have been selected by the Egyptians to oppose 
Moses. In the quotation from Artapanus {Euseb. P. Ev. lib. ix. c. 27, p. 435) they 
are called rovs iepils vwo Mefx.<piv. The discrepancies in the spelling have led to 
confusion : thus Jallcut Rubeni gives three names, Jonos, Jochne, and Mamre. So 
does the Arabic catena. According to Numenius, they were threatened with death 
if they did not perform miracles equal to those of Moses, and by their juggleries 
and incantations they succeeded in altering the colour of the Xile. Thus Artapa- 
nus testifies to lambres' priesthood, while Numenius testifies to his being a sacred 
scribe or An. The discrepancy of the statement of the former, that he was priest 
at Memphis, with the fact that Rui was priest at Hermonthis, may be taken quan- 
tum valeat. 

1 In Pliny [Hist. Naturalis, lib.'xxx. c. 1) the three Jeivish magicians are given 
as Moses, lamnes, and Potapa ; the last name varies a little in different editions. In 
the Elzevir of 1616, and the Aldine of 1530, it is "Mose et lamne et lotape." 
In the Paris edition of 1532 it is " Mose etiamnum et lochabela." 

2 This is evident; for as Buxtorf [Lexicon Chahl Talm. 1639, p. 946) shows 
the 3 is similarly inserted in the Mamre of Genesis, xiii. 18, by the Targumists. 

268 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

high-priest Eui. If this be so, the Talmudic tale^ of his having been 
drowned in the Eed Sea is certainly erroneous, as E,ui survived his 
master Menepthah, and of him and Ani the tombs were known long 
after, as Palladius, in the Lausiac History, speaks, in the section peri 
Mahariou ton Alexandreos, of K.7]7roTa(f>Lov tov 'lavvov /cat lafx/Spov twv 

There is a statue somewhat similar, though larger, in the British. 

1 The Eabbinical authorities differed as to the ultimate fate of these magicians, 
but they agree for the most part in regarding them as the sons of Balaam, and 
identify them with the magicians who warned Pharaoh of the birth of Moses. 
Abulpharagius [Hist. Bynastiarum, p. 17) sa3fs that the young Moses was given 
over to them to teach, that they taught him magic ; hence Apuleius [Apolo- 
gia, Paris, 1635, p. 100, 1. 18) speaks of is Moses et lannes as magicians. We learn 
from the Jalkut Riibeni (p. 81, col. 2) that being foiled by Moses by the plague of 
the lice they became proselytes, but not sincere ones, for according to Tan^uma 
(p. 36, col. 2) they became the leaders of the defection of the golden calf. One 
ancient Midrash on Ex. xv. 10, says that lohanne and Mamre were dro^vned in 
the Red Sea. So says the Arabic Catena ; while Jonathan ben Uzziel, in the 
Targum on Num. sxii. 22, says they perished in the slaughter of the Midianites. 
In the Zohar before quoted (108, c. 2) in the comment on Exod. xxxii. 28, they 
are said to have perished in the slaughter by the Levites : indeed the passage is 
explained to mean that the Levites slew these two, who in evil influence were as 
bad as 3000. 

For further conjectures, see Schottgen, Horce Sehraicce et Talmudicce in Nov. 
Test. Leipzig, 1733 ; Grotius, Dissertatio de lamie et lambre, Hafnise, 1707 ; 
Zentgrav, de lanne et lambre. Argent. 1669 ; Michaelis de lanne, ^c., Salae, 
1747; Wetstein, Nov. Test. Amst. 1751; Bochart, Hierozoicon, Leyden, 1692, i. 
lib. ii. p. 645, cap. 53; and Dilherr, Bisputationum, Noriberg. 1652, vol. i. p. 272. 
The book of lannes and lambres was supposed to be extant in the days of Origen 
[Conim. in Matth. xxvii. 9, in ed. Paris, 1711, p. 1012), at least in referring to 
the prophecy I'egarding the potter's field he says, in commenting on quotations from 
uncanonical books, that this passage on the Egyptian magicians is taken from a cer- 
tain " lihro secreto qui superscribitur lanncBi et Mambrcei Liber.'''' Among the earlier 
commentators there was a considerable difference of opinion as to Paul's source of 
information : some, like Theodoret {in loco), teaching that he had learned it from 
Jewish tradition; others, like Ambrose {Opera, 1549, p. 2070 d), regarding it as a 
quotation from an apocryphal work, to which he refers, and from which he has 
probably gathered the fact that they were brothers, a statement also made by Pal- 
ladius (loco citato supra) ; while others believed that it was learned by dii-ect inspi- 
ration. The name Ani occurs in several monumental inscriptions: there is in 
Turin an inscription of a scribe of this name (Stele, No. 69), with no genealogy. 

Macalister — On a Series of Scarabcei. 269 

XLI. — Egyptological Notes. iSTo. I. — Ox a Sekies of Scarab^i. 
By Alexandek Macalistee, M.D., F.R.S. (Plate XVIII.) 

[Read, 22nd January, 1883.] 

A series of Scarabaei, the property of J. R. Garstin, Esq., was lent to 
me for examination, with the history that they had formed a portion of 
Belzoni's Collection, and, having been purchased therefrom, had been 
mounted as a necklace. There are sixteen, whose inscriptions are as 
follows : — 

1. Length 2 cm. ; breadth I'd ; green enamel ; winged disk; two 
hawks: "liefer neter Ser-Ka-Ra nefer an^ nefer nub,'''' "The good 
God; Ser-Ka-Ra, Good life of Gold." Ser-Ka-E.a was the by-name of 
Amenhetp I., the second king of the eighteenth dynasty, who reigned 
about 1600 B.C. Fig. I. 

2. Green enamel ; brown-backed; length 2 cm. ; breadth 1-2 cm. ; 
scroll bordered: '■'■ Mer 'pet hetepu ha Har,^'' "Superintendent of the 
House of Accounts of the Cattle, Horns, or Ab-har." This discon- 
tinuous scroll border I am informed by Dr. Birch is very ancient. 
Eig. II. 

3. Brown enamel; length 2 cm.; breadth l-2cm. ; Papyri, the 
crown of the lower country on each side ; the wasp, and emblem of 
the south country " res " — the whole probably meaning " King of the 
Upper and Lower Country." Eig. III. 

4. Dark-brown stone; broken; deeply cut: ^' Raneferura,''^ "The 
sun guards the good passage." Eig. IV. 

5. Brown stone; length 1|- cm.; breadth 1 cm. ; criocephalic stand- 
ing figure of Amen, holding an^ in right hand, and heq in left, with, 
in front, a cartouche inscribed with the name Ramenxeper, the praeno- 
men of Thothmes III., the Great King, the fifth of the eighteenth 
dynasty, who reigned about 1550 b.c. Eig. V. 

6. Small green enamel; 1cm. long; 7 mm. broad ; inscribed with 
a scroll having a nefer on each side. The curve is exactly that of the 
profile of the modillion of a Corinthian column. Eig. VI. 

7. Small green enamel ; 6 mm. long ; 8 broad ; inscribed " Amen 
neb,^' possibly a name. Eig. VII. 

8. A long ellipse, not beetle-like ; inscribed Rci neb uat, possibly 
a name ; 15 mm. long; 6 mm. broad. Eig. VIII. 

9. An ornamental urn or patera, with two side uraei and neh 
below. A similar ornament I have seen upon monuments of Uasarkon 
of the twenty-second dynasty, the " Zerah " of the Book of Kings, 
who reigned in the ninth century b,c. This is not beetle-like, but 
resembles an oviilum shell. Eig. IX. 

10. Also of green enamel; 10mm. by 6 ; inscribed with a ura^us, 
or symbolic serpent. Eig X. 


270 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

11. Green enamel ; inscribed " neh -yet nefer,'''' " all good things "; 
length 12 mm. ; breadth 6. Fig. XI. 

12. Green enamel; 12 mm. by 9 ; inscribed with the Papyri or 
emblem of the lower country, below which is written ^' neb nefer, ^^ 
" Good Lord of the Lower Country." Pig. XII. 

13. A brown enamel, veiy doubtful, suspiciously new-looking 
beetle. Dr. Birch is likewise inclined to doubt its genuineness. It is 
inscribed Amen ra tiei. Fig. XIII. 

14. Green enamel; 17mm. by 12mm.; a boldly-cut hawk of 
Horus, with the sign neb beneath, "Mar neb,^' " Horus Lord." 
Fig. XIV. 

15. A large fine Scarabaeus ; 22 mm. by 13 mm. ; with a handsome 
continuous scroll border, not unlike the discontinuous scroll of jS'o. 2, 
within which is an ogee scroll above and below, with the two eyes 
of Horus and Ka-Ka below. There was a king Ka Kau of the fifth 
dynasty, but his name is written differently. Fig. XY. 

16. A very small ill-made Scarabaeus, with imperfectly wT.itten on 
it " Ten ha ra men nebf possibly a name. Fig. XYI. 

A soft grey stone Scarabfeus, given to me by the late Eev. 
Canon Finlayson, and obtained by him from Dr. Tule of Alexandria, 
is inscribed " Mer-i-ra-sf "Beloved of the Sun." This very closely 
resembles the name of the Chief Priest of Khuenaten's new temple. 
Fig. XYII. 

Proc. B.I.A., Vol. 2, Ser. 11. Plate XVIU, 







KiNAHAN — On Inscribed Stones, Co. Donegal. 271 

XLII. — Inscribed Stones, Co. Donegal. By Gr. H. Kinahan, 
M.R.I.A., &c. (Plate XIX.) 

[Read, February 26, 1883.] 

In the Statistical Survey of tiie County of Donegal, published by the 
Dublin Society in 1802, the author, James M'Parlan, M. D., calls at- 
tention to a cupped stone near Xewtowncunningham, and thus describes 
it : "In the deer-park of Castleforward, in the beech- grove, is a flag, 
five feet in diameter, perfectly circular, and regularly indented with 
holes half an inch deep and one inch diameter ; it is raised on other 
stones eighteen inches high." Prom this description it would appear 
that the Castleforward inscribed stone is a table-stone allied to those 
megalitic structures now generally called dolmens or cromleacs. The 
stone to which I would call attention belongs to another type, being a 
gallan or pillar-stone. It stands in the townland of Dooenglebe in Glen 
Swilly, on the margin of the flat of the river Swilly. 

This stone is a little more than two feet in height above the ground, 
is of a rude triangular shape, one side ranging due S. and ]^., the 
second looking nearly south (S. 20 E.), and the third, which is slightly 
bowed, looking toward the X.E. The top, which is nearly flat, and a 
little smaller than the base line of the stone, its east corner being also 
broken off, has on it cups of from about three inches to one inch in 
diameter, and from half to quarter inch deep ; they are represented in 
Plate XIX., fig. 1, which is a reduction from a rubbing. Plate XIX., 
fig. 2, is also a reduction from a rubbing of the cups on the southward 
face of the stone. On the west face there appears to be only one cup, 
close to the S. E. edge, while on the !N". E. face none were found. 

From the maps of the top and south face (Plate XIX., figs. 1 and 2) 
it will be seen that these inscriptions are similar to those in the 
County Fermanagh to which Mr. Wakeman of Enniskillen has called 
attention, and also to those found on flat or lying stones and on the 
sides of pillar-stones in the Counties Wexford and "Wicklow, but more 
especially at Ballykean, near Redcross in the latter. The cups on the 
Dooenglebe gallan specially prove that they cannot be due to weather- 
ing, as both sets of cups are similar ; yet one set is on a bed surface, 
while the other is on a plane surface at right angles to the structure 
of the rock. If due to weathering, and the first were cups, the latter 
would have to be either thin discs or crescents. The stone appears to 
be an altered basic tuff or slaty gabbro, but I did not knock a chip 
off it. 


The Dooenglele cupped standing stone (Glen Swilly) is called the 
" King's Stone " ; the tradition about it being that the ancient kings 
were crowned at it. In its vicinity is an ancient well, and imme- 
diately above it on the brow of the hill a caher, or stone fort. 

272 Proceedings of ihe Roj/al Iriah Academy. 

The Castleforicard cupped table stone is locally known as the 
" Giant's Grave." Some fifty years ago, or thereabouts, the table was 
broken in two, and nearly half of it taken away ; now the remaining 
portion is lying close by, while the supporting pillars have been 
undermined and tumbled about by people digging after rabbits. 

About three miles east of Letterkenny, in the townland of Trim- 
ragh, immediately adjoining the old south shore line of Lough Swilly, 
but now separated from it by a large ti'act of "intakes," is a large 
stone called the " Giant's Eock." A portion of this is said to have 
been quarried away by a man who had a contract on the new road from 
Letterkenny to Derry ; but the piece is lying alongside as if detached 
by frost. But on the remaining surface, which slopes nearly due 
east, there are, on one portion, six cups called the " Giant's Finger- 
holes."^ These are arranged so as to form two equally-sized equilateral 
triangles ; while on another, and slightly raised portion of the surface, 
there is one cup. About one hundred yards due east is a large flat 
stone called the " Giant's Grave," on which are two cups, while in its 
vicinity, on a rock surface in situ, are two or more cups, and on a 
smaller stone, about fifty yards to the south, is one cup, about two 
hundred yards S. W. of the " Giant's Eock" ; and likewise on the old 
shore of Lough Swilly there was an ancient church, the site of which 
has been covered up by the new railway embankment. 

^ The Donegal giants seem to have had six fingers, besides thumbs, as the 
" giant finger-holes " that have since been pointed out have each seven cups. 

Proc. R.I.A., Vol. 2, Ser. ii. 

Plate XIX. 


Cup^ on i7i.r iop cf^ the' 
J)oo&i Gle3& GaZZoTV CoDoneqah 







J ^ 


o J z s 4- ^ FeeZ^ 

Gaps on- i/iS' Sou^ffi^ /ace' of the' 
SDooat ^^ishe- G^xIZocrv CcTJon^aaZ-. 


Forster & Co., Utli., Duiiiln. 

Ball — On Some Indian Brass Castings 273 

XLIII. — Oif Some Brass Castij^gs of Indian Manttfacttjee. By- 
Professor Y. Ball, M.A., P.R.S., F.G.S. 

[Read, January 22, LS83.] 

The objects now exhibited, though in themselves of rude design, bear 
testimony to the possession by those who made them of a considerable 
degree of skill in the working of metals. Having been made for me, 
I am acquainted with the circumstances of their manufacture ; and 
a statement of these, together with some general remarks upon the 
metallurgical processes which are practised by the inhabitants of 
India, should, 1 think, prove not unacceptable to the Members of the 
Academy, who possess in their Museum so many examples of the pro- 
ductions of the pre-historic metallurgists of this country. 

By way of preface, I propose to give a very brief sketch of the 
methods adopted by the natives of India for the extraction of metals 
from their ores, and their subsequent treatment. Many of these 
methods, so far as we know, not only date back to the earliest periods 
of which there is any record, but they were probably first invented 
at some vastly more remote epoch. 

Scarcely without an exception, each of these metallurgical pro- 
cesses involves an expenditure of manual labour and time which are 
quite disproportionate to the results, and hence it is that imported 
metals, manufactured in Europe, can undersell the indigenous produc- 
tions of India. The effect of this competition, throughout wide 
regions, has been to cause the native miners and smelters to adopt 
new modes of obtaining their livelihood; but to change his trade is 
more difficult for an inhabitant of India, owing to the influence of 
caste, than it is for an artizan of any other country — the consequence 
being, that these industries are in some cases kept alive by a struggle 
of the most severe character, where the reward of unending labour is 
a state of chronic indigence, scarcely removed from one of famine. 

It needs no gift of prophecy, therefore, to foresee the extinction of 
these arts at a not distant period, which in itself affords a strong reason 
for describing them while the materials for doing so are still avail- 
able. By some writers it has been remarked contemptuously, that 
though the native artizans possess the art, they know nothing of the 
science of these operations. That such is the case is true ; but it is 
also true of many crafts in Europe. The appKcation of scientific 
guidance is a modern growth, and it has been left to modem chemists 
to explain the rationale of processes, which discovered first by rule of 
thumb, have been blindly followed for many centuries. 

274 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

It is quite impossible to enter into any details of Indian metal- 
lurgy ; already I have pubKshed much, on tlie subject;^ but, as 
giving some idea of its extent, it may be stated that an account of the 
various forms of bellows by "which the blast is produced would alone 
afford material for a very long Paper, while an account of the many 
tribes and races engaged in mining and rough smelting operations 
could not fail to be of the highest interest to the Anthropologist. It 
is a most remarkable fact that, throughout a large part of India, so 
far as I have been able to ascertain, these races and tribes are almost 
always !N"on-Aryans, or so-called aborigines. It seems, therefore, at 
least possible that these arts originated at a period anterior to th.e 
Aryan invasion. 

Gold. — The production of gold in India has, for the most part, 
been from alluvial washings ; but evidence exists that the crushing of 
auriferous quartz has been practised to some extent in certain locali- 

The esteem with which the natives of India regard ornaments of 
absolutely pure gold is notorious ; and they have invented two or 
more most ingenious and elaborate processes for removing the alloy 
of silver which occurs naturally in native gold. 

Yery full accounts "of these processes are given in the famous 
classic of Akbar's time (the Ain-i-Alcbari), which was written in the 
16th century by Abdul Fazl. I cannot here attempt to give even a 
sketch of them ; they are fully detailed in the last edition of Percy's 
Metallurgy. As rendered in the two English translations of the Ain, 
by Gladwin and Blochmann, they were found on trial to be inappli- 
cable to the production of the desired result ; and therefore Dr. Percy 
procured an amended translation which, when followed, enabled him 
to refine gold with complete success. 

Silver. — It is generally supposed that India was never a silver- 
producing country, in spite of the fact that there are early notices to 
the effect that it was exported thence to China. Prom evidence 
which I have collected, I have been led to the conclusion that the 
amount of silver formerly extracted in India from argentiferous galena 
may have been considerable. In many parts, but especially in Mach-as, 
there are traces of most extensive mining operations having been con- 
ducted for galena, much of it now known to be highly argentiferous ; 
and there still lingers, or did a few years ago, a practice of oxidiziag 
the lead into litharge, and so extracting the silver. The process is at 
present certainly practised in Upper Burmah. 

In some countries large accumulations of litharge, treated as a 
waste product, have been met with, and I think it very probable that, 
in India, such deposits may also exist, though from being covered up 
by jungle they may have escaped observation. If I remember rightly, 

^ Vide " Economic Geology of ludia." 

Ball — On 8ome Indian Brass Castings. 275 

Captain ISTewbold in one of his Papers refers to tte existence of such 
evidence of former "^orks in some part of Southern India. 

Zead. — In certain districts of India lead has been largely manufac- 
tured in rudely-constructed furnaces, even ^here the ore was only 
obtainable by an enormous expenditure of labour. In one locality its 
manufacture was prohibited by the British Government, in conse- 
quence of the fact that the then existing state of things made it 
desirable that a material from which bullets were made might cease 
to be readily accessible. 

Copper. — At the present clay copper is manufactured at many 
places, chiefly, however, at remotely situated mines in the Himalayas, 
where it can still compete with imported metal. Its preparation from 
the sulphur ores, and the production of the mutt, from which the 
metal is finally extracted, does much credit to those who invented 
the process, although, from insufiicient heat in the furnaces, a large 
percentage of metal is lost. 

Zitic. — This metal is only found in abundance in one mine, which 
is situated at Jawar in Eajputana. The volatility of zinc renders 
open furnaces unsuitable for its reduction, and hence we find that 
rudely-constructed, though efficient, retorts were in use, but as to 
when and by whom they were invented we know nothing. The mine 
was closed in 1812, and the industry is locally forgotten, so that, but 
for some descriptions of the process written many years ago by British 
officers, there would be nothing to show that the process had ever 
been in practice. 

Ti7i. — The deposits of tin ores in India are small and unimportant, 
so far as is at present known, and the manufacture has consequently 
been on a petty scale ; but in Burmah, particularly in the Tenasserim 
province, tin ore has a widesjjread distribution throughout a tract 
which is in dii'ect connexion with the more widely known districts 
of the Malayan countries. The reduction of these ores is effected in 
closed furnaces by colonies of Chinese and Shans, and less commonly 
by Burmese. 

Cohalt. — An ore of cobalt (cobaltite), called smta, is found in cer- 
tain copper mines in Jaipur. By some unknown and secret process 
an oxide of cobalt is prepared from it, which is employed for colour- 
ing a blue enamel. It is said that it was also used for producing a 
rose colour on gold.. 

Iroji. — The ores of this, the most useful of the metals, are found 
widely spread over most parts of India, and in some regions their 
development is on a scale of extraordinary magnitude. 

Yarious ores are used in the simple furnaces of the natives. The 
metal is produced in a malleable condition, directly, without ever 
having been in an actually fluid condition. The fuel is charcoal, 
often made exclusively from particular kinds of timber, and no flux 
except that naturally existing with the ore is employed. The out- 
put from these tiny furnaces is disproportionately small when com- 

276 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

pared with the amoiant of labour expended in its production, the 
consequence being that, in spite of the suitability of this easily- 
worked metal for the purposes to which it is applied, the industry 
is being crushed out of existence by competition, and European-made 
iron, chiefly English and Swedish, is now exclusively usecl in many 
districts where there was a large indigenous production formerly. 

There is strong evidence in support of the view that the manufac- 
ture of iron was in a more advanced stage, and was conducted on 
a larger scale, at a very early period than it is now. This being 
granted, the furnaces of the present day should be regarded as de- 
graded survivals of more highly developed predecessors. Otherwise it 
would be difficult, nay, rather impossible, to account for the large 
bars of wrought iron to be found in ancient temples, and the enor- 
mous cannon, many feet long, vs'hich are to be seen in Assam and 
elsewhere. By far the largest example of metal work in India is 
afforded by the famous iron pillar at the Kutab near Delhi, which 
is 23 feet 8 inches high, including an ornamental capital ; the diame- 
ter at base is 16 feet 4 inches, and just below the capital 12"05 inches ; 
these dimensions indicate a weight of upwards of 6 tons. The metal 
is pure malleable iron without alloy, and from the inscription which 
it bears it is considered to be 1500 years old. The manipulation of 
such a mass might be accomplished without any excessive trouble in 
some of our modern first-class foundries ; but the time is not yet 
remote when it could not have been accomplished in Europe. The 
suggestion that this pillar was made by successive weldings on to a 
heated end is not improbably correct, though traces of such weldings 
are not now visible on the surface. Be this as it may, this large mass 
of hammered iron might justly be accorded rank with the wonders of 
the world. 

But the above by no means conveys a complete idea of the extent 
to which iron manufacture has been carried in India. There are good 
grounds for believing that ivootz, or cast steel, was exported from 
thence to the countries of the western world at least 2000 years ago. 
It is probably not generally known that the Damascus blades, so 
widely renowned for their strength, flexibility, and beauty, were 
made of cast steel, which was carried to Persia for the purpose 
from an obscure Indian village. 

Sixty or seventy years ago this Indian cast steel was in high 
demand at Sheffield, where it was used for the manufacture of surgi- 
cal instruments, a practical cutler of that time giving it as his verdict 
that, in spite of some drawbacks, it was the best material he had met 
with — this, be it remembered, was a period long before the manufac- 
ture of cast steel had become a successful industry in England. 

I shall only refer very briefly to the process by which the Indian 
cast steel was made. The iron used in its manufacture was either 
a particular variety of charcoal iron, or a mixture of two irons made 
from different ores. It was chopped into small fragments, and placed 

Ball — On Some Indian Brass Castings. 277 

in highly refractory crucibles having a capacity of a pint or less ; with 
this metal some fragments of Cassia wood and one or two leaves of 
a Convolvulus or Ipomea, according to some authorities — of an Ascle- 
piad called Calatropis gigantea, according to others — were included, 
and the whole well heated in the furnace. On opening the crucible, 
after it had for several hours been subjected to great heat in a strong 
blast, the metal, fused into a button, was found at the bottom, and, 
after tempering, it became easily malleable. The introduction of 
vegetable matter into the crucible provides the carbon necessary in 
the conversion of wrought iron into steel ; but whether there is any 
particular vii'tue in the leaves of the species employed is not known. 

So far as I know, true bronze is not manufactured in India, 
though it possibly may be in Burmah. The metal workmanship of 
India includes nothing which resembles the bronzes of Japan. 

Various compounds of zinc and copper are, however, widely used 
in the manufacture of domestic and ornamental articles, and for these 
purposes there are enormous annual imports of these metals into India, 
as the local production at present only supplies a fraction of the re- 

The various proportional mixtures of copper and zinc bear a 
variety of different names ; they are melted in rudely-constructed 
furnaces, which are made simply out of clay often to be procured close 
to the brassfounder's house, where also the material for his moulds is 
generally obtainable. The preparation of a mould for a solid casting 
is a comparatively simple affair ; but the objects before us are holloiv 
castings, and the device adopted in the preparation of moulds for 
them is remarkably ingenious. 

Having prepared a mass of clay with the form of the proposed 
intended cavity, the operator dips it repeatedly into molten bees' wax 
till it becomes thickly caked over. In the wax the proposed design 
is then sculptured, and the whole is enveloped in an outer casing 
made of the moulding-clay. The molten metal is then poured into 
the mould, and it speedily melts and occupies the place of the wax 
throughout all its extent. When it is set, the outer mould is broken 
off, and the inner is extracted from the interior of the metal. 

The majority of these castings represent domestic animals and a 
few familiar birds ; but one of them has the form of the fruit of 
the mango. They are not intended for toys, as might be supposed 
from their appearance, but for offerings at shrines, and they are 
placed round altars in temples, and sometimes in private houses. 

I have never seen such offerings openly exposed near road-side 
altars ; but I have many a time come across spots in the jungle, gene- 
rally under the shade of the sacred Banyan (^Ficus indica) or Pipal {F. 
religiosa) trees, where there were piles of rudely-shapen figures of 
baked clay, resembling in shape those of brass. 

Poor people are unable to present propitiatory offerings of ele- 
phants, camels, and horses, such as are given by wealthy Eajas, to 

R. I. A. PKOC, VOL. II., SER. II. — POL. LIT. .\ND ANTIQ. 2 K 

278 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

those deities whose wrath they desire to avert. Hence they have 
adopted the expedient of offering symbolical representations of more 
costly gifts. These symbols, in their rudest form, are made of clay. 
It is only in towns that such brass castings as those I exhibit are 
made and used, and these were manufactured for me by a brass- 
founder of Parulia, in the district of Manbhum in Bengal. 

I take the opportunity of exhibiting some other objects of metal- 
work from India. Among these an anklet which, though formed of 
intricate movable coils, appears to have been cast in one piece. 
This anklet is of considerable weight, the object of which is said 
to be, that the wearer of one would not be able to wander far from 
her home, and would thus be less likely to get into mischief than 
if she were not so hampered. 

Gkaves — Memarks on an Ogam Monument. 27& 

XLIY. — Remaeks on ak Ogam Monxtment bt the Eight E,ev. Charles 
Graves, D.D., Lord Bishop of Limerick, with some Inteodttctory 
Eemarks by Sir S. Ferguson, President. 

[Eead, May 26, 18S4.] 

The Bishop of Limerick has done me the honour of making me the 
medium of several valuahle communications to the Academy on the 
subject of Ogam interpretation. He is good enough to continue the 
use of my services in this way, and to-night enables me to make 
public his views on a matter which, up to the present, has much per- 
plexed the study of Ogam legends. I refer to the Greekish aspect 
of many of the names, and to the seeming want of distinction between 
the nominative and the genitive. I may observe that I have long 
regarded Maqi, the recognized equivalent oifiUi, as having an equally 
good claim in some of these enigmatical epigraphs to stand for filius. 
Besides his observations on the -os termination, Bishop Graves issues 
two new propositions to the eye of Archaeological curiosity in disclos- 
ing resemblances between the form of the Celtic cross, as well as the 
style of Irish decorative work in manuscript, and other examples of 
both kinds seen by him in a quarter of the world hitherto little taken 
into account in these investigations. 

''May 12, 1884. 
" My dear Sir Samuel Ferguson, 

" I am about to present to the Eoyal Irish Academy an Ogam 
monument which will, I trust, be regarded as a valuable acquisition 
to our lapidary collection. It was found in 1877, near Killorglin, by 
an intelligent young man named Fitzgerald, whom I had imbuedjwith 
a taste for antiquities, and thus fitted him to explore that part of the 
country in search of Ogam and other ancient remains. 

"The inscription which this monument bears is complete and 
perfect. Not the slightest doubt can be entertained as to any single 
character included in it. 

" It reads as galeotos. Now as to this name, I observe first that 
Galea, a galley, was used in mediasval Latin to denote a long, low- 
built ship, genus navigii velocissimi, navis longa, navis rostrata, Uhurna, 
&c., employed as a privateer or piratical craft, and the men who 
formed its crew were called Galeoti or Galiotce. They were held in 
very low estimation, and classed along with pirates and robbers. 
Viles erant Galeoti, nulliusque nominis. Alfred the Great had a fleet 
of such galleys built, and manned them with piratce. 
" So much for the meaning of the name Galeotos. 
"Next, I shall have something to say respecting the final -os, which 
has been supposed by philologists to be -the termination of a Celtic 
genitive. If it had really been one, might we not have expected to 
find examples of such forms in the Irish of the Book of Armagh and 


280 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

in other ancient Irish. Tvritings ? I never believed in this theory, and 
now I am in a position to show how this -os came to he used as the 
termination of Ogam genitives. It is true that in mediaeval Irish 
texts we find instances showing that pedantic scribes gave the ter- 
mination -OS to names which were Latin, and ought to end in -xrs, 
such as Postomios, or Beallinos for Belinas, or Enibros — Amiros = 
Amhrosius, or to names which were purely fictitious, such as Rochi- 
murchos, Ordtnos, Judcemos, and the sons of Adam (!) Gismos and Ges- 
mos. JN^ay, more, I am willing to admit that I have met with instances 
in manuscripts in which Celtic proper names in the nominative have 
been made to end in -os, such as ireA^A^o]'. But these will not be 
found, as I believe, to support the theory which I am disputing. 

" I hold fast to my original view, stated thirty-five years ago, that 
the Ogam was an invention of the early monkish period. Irish 
proper names occurring in Ogam inscriptions were frequently dis- 
guised by giving them the Greek termination -os ; and this was done 
l)y persons who did not know how to inflect Greek proper names, or 
who were in the habit of using them tvithout inflection. But I may be 
asked, Were there any such persons ? I answer. Yes. In Coptic, 
Greek proper names ending in -os, were invariably used without being 
declined, and the same rule was observed in the case of loan words 
of other kinds borrowed from the Greek. For instance, crraupo?, 
a cross, is never declined. Any jDcrson who wishes to satisfy himself 
as to the truth of what I say can readily test it by taking up a Coptic 
prayer-book, or a portion of the Coptic l^ew Testament, containing 
Greek proper names. And the same thing is to be observed with 
reference to the use of Greek names in Arabic, Syriac, and Aramaic. 

" But what have we to say to Coptic usages, linguistic or of any 
other kind ? A great deal. In times of persecution Egyptian monks 
fled to Ireland, bringing with them their speech, their art, their 
ecclesiastical usages. In the Litany of ^ngus mention is made of 
seven Egyptian monks buried in one place. Doubtless there were 
many more who came to this country. I hope to be able to show 
that they have left not a few traces of their influence. In Upper 
Egypt I have recognized several forms of cross which we regard as 
Irish and ancient Irish, and some of these are identical with crosses 
found on Ogam monuments. Take, as an instance, the very peculiar 
cross which appears on one of the Ogam monuments near Dingle ^X-c . 

The cross in a circle @) , either with or without pellets in the quad- 
rants, is to be seen in the ruins of early Christian churches all along 
the Nile from Assouan to Cairo. 

" Here I must stop for the present, but I shall have more to say 
by-and-by about the final -os, and the resemblance between ancient 
Egyptian and ancient Irish crosses. 

"Believe me to be, my dear Sir Samuel, 

" Very faithfully yours, 


** Sir Samuel Ferguson-." 

Graves — Remarks on an Ogam Monument. 281 


" I ought also to remark, that if -os was the termination of an 
ancient Celtic genitive, the same might be said of -as, which appears 
as the termination of just as many Ogam names, all of which may be 
said with equal reason to be genitives ; but if my view of the matter 
be correct, both of these terminations might have been naturally sug- 
gested to the minds of the persons who exercised their ingenuity in 
giving cryptic forms to the Celtic names which they inscribed on Ogam 
monuments, if these seanachies had been acquainted with the forms 
of the Greek and Hebrew proper names occurring in the Coptic or 
other Oriental versions of Holy Scripture. 

"If this question as to the origin and use of the Ogam termina- 
tion -OS could be settled by the evidence of a single inscription, I 
might be contented to refer to one of which I gave an account to the 
Boyal Irish Academy in the year 1856. On that occasion I described 
a monument found by the Rev. James Goodman near Ballywiheen, in 
the county of Kerry, and bearing the inscription 


which I interpreted as 


"Wow, I can hardly believe that any scholar will question the 
following etymological equivalence : — 

Sacerdos = Sacerd = Sa^ja^-iac = Sagarettos. 

" If the process of derivation thus indicated be correct, this Saga- 
EETTOs, SO far from being a genuine primeval Celtic word, is nothing 
more than an Irish noun or proper name of a comparatively late 
period, pedantically disguised by a Greek termination ; and its want 
of genuineness is but little aggravated by the fact that the word with 
the nominative ending is made to do duty in grammatical regimen as 
a genitive. But as I have been led to notice this inscription, I may 
be allowed to refer to it as furnishing an instance of one of those 
artifices by which proper names were metamorphosed with a view to 
render the reading of them difficult to the uninitiated. As I identify 
TOGITTACC with TOICTHEACH, you will pcrccive that I regard the dupli- 
cation of a consonant as intended in certain cases to denote its aspira- 
tion or some other kind of modification. I shall be able to adduce 
other instances of this kind, such, for example, as cc for G, bb for p, 
DD for DH. 

" What I have said with respect to the similar forms of the cross 
found in Ireland and Egypt must be developed by a comparison of the 
sketches in my note-book with the drawings made by Mr. Du Noyer, 
Mr. "Wakeman, and others ; but by far the most interesting of the 
results which I shall have to communicate in connexion with this 


282 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

subject will be deduced from a comparison of the methods of orna- 
mentation exhibited in the Coptic Gospels and service-books with 
those of which we have such fine examples in our Irish Ecclesiastical 

"There are two other points deserving notice in this inscription 

"Pirst, the inversion of letters consequent upon the separation of 
vowels composing a diphthong which appeared in the name when 
spelt in the common way. The o and i are separated in togtttacc, 
instead of being left together, as in toicxheach. This artifice is fre- 
quently used in Ogam as e. g. in ctxeiiiitieeos = C]\uimhche]A, and 
the reason for the practice is obvious enough. As all the vowels were 
denoted by groups of similar short strokes, varying in number from 
one to five, the juxtaposition of two such groups might have the 
effect of introducing a character of ambiguous power. Thus rnmt 
might stand for oi, or ue, or eu, or io, and so on. 

" The Uraicept tells us that there were five varieties of the Berla 
tolaid (the language formed by selection or abstraction). Of these, 
one was the Berla Edarscartha (the language in which the chief 
letters, the vowels a, o, u, e, i, were separated). I suspect that this 
was not a dialect, but merely a pedantic mode of writing words so 
as to separate the vowels which entered into the diphthongs used 
in the ordinary orthography. 

"There is another point to which attention may be directed in 
the discussion of this inscription. Sacerdos may be either a common 
noun or a proper name. But I think it is more probably a common 
noun. I cannot remember any instance in which an Irish ecclesiastic 
bore the name Sacerdos, but it was borne by a British presbyter who 
attended the British bishops present at the Synod of Aries in 314. 
If it were a common noun, we could see a reason for the use of a cryp- 
tic mode of writing in the record of Toictheach's paternity. Toictheach 
was an old Irish name. "We find in the Marfyrology of Donegal, 
FrNNXAiN, son of Toictheach (Jan. 2), and Toictheach (a saint) 
(Nov. 16). In the Annals of the Pour Masters mention is made of 
two persons of this name : one at the year 808, Abbot of Armagh — 
Colgan says of him Colitur i6 Octolris ; the other at the year 895. 
As he is said to have been of Inis Aingin, he was no doubt an ecclesi- 

" Tou must not suppose that I have Egypt and Copts so much 
upon the brain that I am inclined to believe that the Ogam was in- 
vented in the land of the Pharaohs. As at present advised, I give 
the credit of the invention to my own country, I found no Ogams in 

"C. L." 

GrRAVES — On Monuments heaving Ogam Inscriptions. 283 

XLY. — On the Identification of the Peopee Names appeahing on 


Het, Charles Grates, D.D., Lord Bishop of Limerick. 
[Eead, June 24, 1884.] 

If, as I maintain, the Ogam is a cryptic character, intended to be 
intelligible only to the initiated, and if the names written in it on 
ancient monuments are further disguised, as I am prepared to show, 
by transformations of various kinds, we need not be sui'prised or dis- 
appointed if we succeed only rarely in identifying the persons of whom 
so obscure a record is preserved in these mysterious memorials. I pro- 
pose in this communication to give an account of two Ogam monu- 
ments, in the expectation of being able to convince the members of 
the Royal Irish Academy that we are able, with something approach- 
ing to absolute certainty, to identify the persons whose names they 


The first which I shall notice is a monument which stands in the 
churchyard at Aghabulloge, near Macroom, in the county of Cork. 
It has always been known and held in great veneration as St. Olan's 
Stone. Mr. Brash has pronounced that the inscription, so far as it is 
legible, has no reference to that saint. It must be confessed that it 
was not easy to discover the clue by which we are led to an opposite 

In the first place it must be noticed that the name Olan is not to 
be found in that form in any ancient list of Irish saints. The correct 
spelling of it seems to have been Eolang or Eulang. A saint of this 
name, called also Eulogius, is recorded as having been preceptor to St. 
Bairre (Finnbarr), of Cork. The name Eolang, occurring at the 5th 
of September in the Martyrology of Donegal, is followed by a blank 
space, which seems to indicate that the author was uncertain whether 
Eolang was a priest or bishop. He is said to have lived at Achadh- 
bo-Cainnigh, in Ossory. In the Life of St. Finnbarr there is a notice 
of him, from which we gather that he was the preceptor of that 
saint, and that he was one of a company of twelve persons who 
accompanied him in a pilgrimage to Eome. Even if we disbelieve the 
story that he was a hearer of Grregory the Grreat, it is plain that he 
must have been a man of learning as the instructor of St. Finnbarr, 
and holding a high place in a brotherhood of distinguished eccle- 

The next step in my argument is to show that Eolang, the pre- 
ceptor of St. Finnbarr, was also known by the name of Maccorbius. 
For this we have the authority of the writer of the Life of St. 
Finnbarr, who says: — Legitur quod Sanctus Maccorhius, Sancti Gregorii 
dim auditor, fuerit S. Barri institutor. We are now in a position to 

284 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

assert that the monument under consideration, known as St. Olan's 
Stone, was the monument of Maccorbius, the teacher of St. Finnharr. 
And this is in accordance with the Ogam inscription which the stone 
presents. I read it thus : — 

ANM COREPirAQ STJZDD . . . m[a]pTT. 

The original drawing, made by Mr. Richard Hitchcock, and com- 
pared by myself on the spot with the inscription on the monument, 
exhibited three distinct strokes following the % and a fourth faint one 
where the stone appears to have been injured by abrasion. There is 
exactly room for the fourth stroke of an s between its third stroke and 
the first of the u.^ After the dd there is room for about ten strokes. 
There may have been some vowel strokes on this part of the edge. 
But there is no appearance of consonantal characters on either face of 
the stone. After this space comes what I take to be ii.- After it I 
read a, with some, but very little, doubt. Across the second t a line 
was drawn as if to cancel it. I cannot remember to have seen any 
other example of this mode of effacing a character, and I therefore 
suspect that this cross stroke ought not to be taken account of as part 
of the inscription. 

There is difficulty in dealing with the final part of the inscription. 
It appears to end with aptt, which may mean apait, ahlatis. This 
conjecture is supported by the fact that I can refer to another Ogam 
inscription which appears to end with aptt coming after a proper 

"When first I recognized this formula anii, with which this and seve- 
ral other Ogam inscriptions commence, I expressed my belief that it 
stood for the word anmaiji. A prayer for the sonl of the deceased was 
the commencement of many ancient inscriptions, and on that account 
this explanation may be regarded as more probable than any other. But 
I do not cling to it with obstinacy. As we have seen that ancient 
Irish writers constantly speak of a man's Ogam name being inscribed 
on his sepulchral monument, I am prepared to admit that the formula 
Ai^ir may represent the word ainim. Each legend commencing thus 
would, in that case mean the [Ogam] name of the person com- 

The next part of the inscription is coeepmaq, which I take to be 
equivalent to maccokbii. Such transpositions of the parts of compound 
names were not unexampled. 

This is followed by stjidd, which I take to be the genitive case of 
suid (sapiens), with the final letter aspirated by duplication. 

1 Sir Samuel Ferguson, ttIlo has kindly allowed me to see his transcript and 
paper mould of the text, reads f where I read s, and regards fuidd as equivalent to 
FuiT, or the poi [quifuit), to which I was the first to direct attention as a formula 
occiuTing in other Ogam inscriptions. 

^ Here Su" Samuel Ferguson reads g. I question this reading, because there is 
no sign of the first obHque stroke of the g having crossed the edge of the stone. 

Graves — On Monuments bearing Ogam Inscriptions. 285 

For APTT, I can suggest no other explanation than what I have 
already mentioned. The whole inscription would thus receive the 
following interpretation : — 

Animd or Nomen Maccorlii Sapientis . . Ahhatis. 

I have no proof that Maccorb was an Abbot, but as he was pro- 
bably the head of the body of learned men assembled at Cork in the 
time of St. Finnbarr, it is not unlikely that he was the Abbot of a 
Monastery in the neighbourhood. St. Finnbarr died about the year 
623. The death of his preceptor, who we may assume was his senior, 
may therefore be placed about a.d. 600, and this, no doubt, is the date 
of the inscription. 

But it may be asked, "Why was the name of this distinguished 
ecclesiastic written in a cryptic character ? "We know almost nothing 
of his character or history. It is possible that some stain of discredit 
rested on his conduct or birth. It is true that pilgrimages were 
frequently undertaken as exercises of religious devotion, but they 
were also enjoined in the way of penalty for sins committed. * 
Eolang may have made his pilgrimage to Rome for a reason of this 
nature. St. Columbkille and St. Brendan, much more distinguished 
saints, went into pilgrimage in expiation of sins or crimes brought 
about by their acts or influence. Or, again, there may have rested 
upon his origin some blot, such as disgraced the birth of the saint on 
whose history I shall have to touch in my description of the other 
monument to be noticed in this Paper. Allusion to this may have 
been made in the name Maccorb, or Corbmac. The celebrated king 
and bishop who bore that name tells us in his Glossary that it was 
properly spelt with a b, and meant the son of a Chariot, that is to say, 
a person born in a chariot. The King's derivations were not unfre- 
quently incorrect ; and in this particular case we may imagine that he 
was disposed to give a favourable rather than an unfavourable interpre- 
tation to his own name. I cannot help suspecting that the other mode 
of spelling, viz., with a. p, suggested the true etymology, with a refe- 
rence to sin. The name Cormac is said to have been equivalent to 
Aithgen ; and I can adduce passages in which the idea of something 
abominable or sinful is connected with the name Corlmac or Coirpthi. 
[See Colgan AA. S8., pp. 221, 607 ; Martyrolog^j of Donegal, at 
Sept. 5 ; Lanigan's History, vol. ii. p. 313-315; Ussher, Index Chronol. 
ad Ann., 630. J 


At Cynffic, near Margam, in Glamorganshire, there used to stand 
a monument bearing a nearly defaced Ogam inscription, which I 
examined in the year 1849. The Ogam characters are not so 

^ See the Canons of St. Patrick in Ware, and Canones Hihern., lib. 28, cap. 6. 

286 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

well preserved as to encourage the antiquary to conceive liopes of 
making a successful attempt to read them. But just enough remain 
to warrant him in asserting that the monument originally bore a 
bilingual inscription, the Celtic part of which, cut on the edges, bore 
some relation to the part traced in perfectly legible Eoman letters 
on the face of the stone. 

Beginning with the latter, I shall afterwards proceed to say the 
little that remains to be said with any certainty respecting the Ogam 

The inscription in Eoman letters is to be read as follows : — 
PVMPEivs CAEiis^xoKivs. Professor Rhys, indeed, not taking into ac- 
count that the v and ai in the first name form a not uncommon liga- 
ture, reads it as pvnpeits. Mr. Westwood and Mr. Brash have done 
the same. This, however, is a matter of small consequence. The 
name indicated was no doubt the Eoman name Pompeius. We are told 
by Professor Ehys that it does not appear elsewhere on Welsh ground. 

As to the second name, Carantorius, I do not hesitate to identify 
it with the Celtic name Carantacus, or Carantocus, or Cernachus, of 
which the Irish equivalent is Caimech. My argument may be repre- 
sented by the following formula : — 

Carantorius = Carantocus — Ca/rantacus = Cernachus = Caimech. 

There were two Cairnechs who must be distinguished, both of 
them Britons, and both noticed in Irish Hagiology. The elder is said 
to have been a nephew of St. Patrick, and to have taken part in 
the compilation of the Senchus Mor. A Latin life of him exists in ms. in 
the British Museum (Vesp. A. xiv., fol. 90), and has been edited by the 
Eev. W. J. Eees, in his Lives of the C amir o -British Saints. Either the 
Latin text is very corrupt, or it has been sadly misread and mistrans- 
lated. However, all that concerns my present purpose is to notice 
that the Latin name of this Caimech was Carantocus, and in one 
passage it appears as Cernachus. He was a native of Cornwall, and, as 
we learn from Dr. O'Donovan, is still remembered as the patron saint 
of Dulane, in the county of Meath. His day in the Calendars of the 
British and Irish Churches is the 16th of May. He died in Ireland 
most probably towards the end of the fifth century. 

But there was another Cairneeh, of whom a full account has been 
preserved in an ancient and cui'ious document entitled the "Miracles 
of Cairneeh," incorporated in the Irish Version of Nennius, as edited by 
Dr. Todd. Although this document has a somewhat legendary character, 
its statements respecting matters of civil history, and the relation- 
ships of the persons mentioned in it, are not to be treated as mere 
inventions, many of them being confirmed by authentic testimonies of 
various kinds. 

The Cairneeh whose history is given in it was the son of Saran, 
styled King of Britain. According to a genealogy given in the Book 
of Lecan, Saran was son of Colgan or Colchuo, son of Tuathal, son of 
J'edhlim, son of Fiachra Cassan, son of Colla da Crioch. He probably 

GrRAVES — On Monuments bearing Ogam Inscriptions. 287 

reigned about the year 500 or somewliat later. Erca, daughter of 
Loam, King of Scotland, appears to have been Saran's legitimate 
wife ; but when she eloped from him with Muircheartach mac 
Eogain, grandson of Xiall of the IS'ine Hostages, Saran took to wife 
her sister, whose name was Pompa or Bebona, by whom he had four 
sons, Luireg, Caimech, Bishop Dalian, and Caemlach. Of these, 
Luireg, the eldest, having succeeded to his father, was murdered 
at the instigation of his brother Caimech, by Muircheartach mac 
Erca, King of Ireland, the son of Erca, Caimech's aunt. In the 
latter part of her life, after she had been united to a third husband, 
Fergus, son of Conall Gulban, she became a penitent, and having 
placed herself under the ministrations of her nephew, Caimech, be- 
queathed to him a territory, from the history of which we gather the 
means of ascertaining the date of his death. He must have died be- 
fore the year 545, if we take the dates of O'Plaherty, or before the 
year 539, if we adopt with Colgan the chronology of the Four Masters. 
Colgan has given us a life of him at the 28th of March, which 
was kept as his festival. 

It is with this Caimech I identify the Carantorius of the monu- 
ment. In the first place, I regard the difference between the termi- 
nations of Cahanxoeius and Caeantocus as of little consequence in a 
case of this kind. The persons who latinized the names of Celts were 
free to do so in an arbitrary manner, consulting their own taste or 
fancy. In the instance before us we have seen that the same Cairnech 
is called CAP.yECHrs and CA:EA:s'T0Cirs, names which appear more differ- 
ent from one another than the latter is from Carantorius. It would 
be easy to multiply examples of the same kind. The Latin name of 
Honan was Phocas or Phocianus. Muiredhach was called Pelagius, 
nTvCi Marianus Muicianh name was translated into both Porcianus and 

But nest, I regard the fact that the name of Cairnech's mother 
was Pompa, as almost certainly completing his identification with 
Pompeius Carantorius. The coincidence is so remarkable as to fall 
little short of demonstration. If it had happened that the inscription 
which we are considering had presented to us nothing more than 
PvMPEivs Caeaxto . . . . , the identification would probably have re- 
mained unquestioned. As the matter stands, I see no reason to 
abandon my conjecture until some Briton is found who has a better 
light than Caimech to the two names Carantorius and Pompeius. 

I fear it may be thought a waste of time for me to notice the 
observations made by Mr. Brash on this monument. His copy of the 
Ogam inscription is tolerably accurate, so far as regards the characters 
which still remain legible, but he has not correctly indicated the 
spaces between them, and he has fallen into the error of reading the 
inscription upside down. He differs from Professor Rhys and me in 
his conclusion that "the monument is not bilingual." " The inscrip- 
tion in Roman letters," he says, "is in no way represented in the 
Ogam." To this he was probably led in consequence of his having 

288 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

assumed that the character 75^ was intended to represent tf. In the 
first plate of his own facsimiles of Ogam alphabets, made from 
the Book of Ballymote, he might have seen that it was used to 
denote p. 

Professor Rhys showed more sagacity. Knowing that in other 
bilingual inscriptions found in Wales the Ogam name corresponded 
with the one written in Roman letters, he correctly assumed that the 

symbol TJ^ appearing twice in the beginning of this Ogam inscrip- 
tion stood for p, holding the same places in Pompeius. His conjec- 
ture was in the highest degree probable, and, as I have just stated, it 
is confirmed by the evidence of the Book of Ballymote. Amongst 
the monogrammatic signs used in the Book of Ogams to represent 
syllables and words, we find this very symbol ^ given for p, which 
had no single character originally assigned to it in Ogam. A double 
B, that is to say, an aspirated b, as we learn from the Uraicept, 
was used to denote this letter. Prom this, that is from yy, it seems- 
probable that Ogam writers were led on to the use of ■'^ or -^ ;. 
and finally, the character "X^ was made to perform a double duty,^ 
both as ea and p. In the Book of Ogams we find that the symbols 
of both ia and ui stand for p>- 

Professor Rhys thinks that the Ogam inscription began with the 

letters pope When I examined the monument I failed to 

ascertain the existence of any other letters besides the two ps on this 
side of the stone. Between them I thought there was room for the- 
three strokes required to make the letters om. The Ogam inscription 
being nearly effaced, I can only regard the following letters as cer- 
tainly remaining. I have roughly indicated the length of the spacet> 
between them. 

■7rr~7K-"^ '''" ///// it-* — imr/ — "^^ — mr— ttttt-^ 

Even with the help furnished by the Latin inscription, it would 
be mere guess-work to proceed further in an attempt to supply the 
missing characters beyond the restoration of the probable maqqi. 

I have elsewhere called attention to the testimony of Mr. Curtin, 
who states that things discreditable to the memories of distinguished 
persons were recorded by inscriptions in the Ogam character on 
their monuments. There might have been occasion for this in the 
case of St. Cairnech. He was the offspring of incest, and was 
answerable for the murder of his brother. These stains upon his re- 
putation are recorded by the writer, who nevertheless eulogises him 
as an exemplary bishop, concentrating in his person every ecclesias- 
tical perfection. 

[See, with reference to the elder Cearnach, the nephew of St. 
Patrick, commemorated on the 16th of May, Colgan, AA. SS., pp. 
263, 473, 756, 783 ; Colgan, T.T., pp. 227, 231, 266 ; Martyrol. of 

Graves — On Monuments bearing Ogam Inscriptions. 289 

Donegal, at May 1 6 ; Irish Topographical Poems, edited by Doctor 
O'DonoYan, p. siv., note 60 ; Senchus Mor, vol. i., p. xviii.-xix. : 
"with reference to the later Ceamach : Colgan, AA. SS., pp. 473, 782 
(the life of this saint), 753, 756 ; Lanigan's Church History, vol. i., 
pp. 494, 495; Adamnan's Life of St. Columhkille ; edited by Eeeves, 
p. 329 ; Irish Nennixis, pp. 179-193, and ci. to cxi., Mart, of Donegal^ 
at 28th of March ; O'Plaherty's Ogygia, p. 470.] 

290 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XL VI. — Desceiptioij- of a Pekfokated Baxx of Eoce: Crystal stated 


EocK Crystal Globes or Spheres, their Legendary History, 


Origin : also on the use of E,ock Crystal for Ornamenting 
Irish Shrines and Eeliquaries. By William Frazer, F.E.C.S.I., 

[Read, May 18, 1884.] 

Translucent Eock Crystal, as a mineral, is well known under its 
name of Irish Diamond, forming an ordinary essential component of our 
granite rocks, yet it seldom occurs here in sufficiently limpid masses 
and in pieces of adequate bulk to be tiirned to useful artistic purposes. 
The best and clearest specimens are obtained in the form of rolled peb- 
bles, on the sea shore, at the North of Ireland, where they are locally 
termed " Dungiven Crystals." "We also obtain well-formed crystals of 
large size from Donegal, but they are a dark-brown coloured variety 
known as " Smoky Quartz" ; this variety is often cut and polished by 
seal-cutters under the appellation of cairngorm, a name that should be 
restricted to a different substance, namely, the topaz. 

Eock crystal was so often procured from the peaks of lofty ice- 
covered mountains that its formation in early times was ascribed to the 
protracted freezing and solidifying of water, which theory receives 
grave discussion and reprobation by Solinus, a fact duly recorded by 
Poly dor Yergil in his History. 

The spherical bead of limpid rock crystal now exhibited by me to 
the Eoyal Irish Academy is a moderate sized, but fair example, of this 
special well-recognized class of manufactured objects much prized in 
our collections of antiquities, which from time to time turn up un- 
expectedly in different parts of the British Isles, or are ascertained to 
be in the possession of families by whom they are regarded as precious 
heirlooms ; some of those have long transmitted traditional histories of 
respectable duration, and have gathered a fair amount of legend around 
them. They are valued for alleged wonder-working power over the 
diseases of men and animals ; and, stranger still, their owners even claim 
that by their means we are afforded deep insight into futurity ; hence 
they supply the novelist with useful material for the exercise of his 
imagination, as readers of Sir Walter Scott's "Talisman" are well 
aware ; for the interest in the " Talisman" is largely due to a miracu- 
lous amulet, the "Lee Penny," which, however, is not composed of 
rock crystal, but of a dark-red stone, set in a groat of Edward IV. 
According to tradition it was brought from the Holy Land in the 14th 
century, by Sir Simon Lockhart, of Lee ; to which place and time 
the traditional history of many of these crystal balls in our countries is 
popularly ascribed. 

With reference to the special bead now exhibited, I regret to say 

Frazer — On a Perforated Ball of Rock Crystal. 291 

there is neither any ancient legend or traditional supernatural claims 
to produce; like the needy knife-grinder " Story I have none to tell, 
sir." The bead may be endowed with properties rendering it a pana- 
cea for colic and several additional maladies, or it may be quite as well 
qualified as other crystal balls, described by me, to cure cattle-plague 
and stamp out foot-and-mouth disease, better than modern Acts of Par- 
liament or a Privy Council order, though I cannot lay claim on its 
behalf to these distinctions, for the bead has never received a fair trial 
since I became its owner. Or it may be powerful to foretell fortunes 
and reveal passing events, similar to Dr. Dee's magic mirror : but I fear 
we would require the assistance of a pure-minded person to succeed 
with the divination, who might possess the rare and needful qualifica- 
tions which would enable him to understand the hidden meaning of that 
filmy evanescent moisture which deposits on quartz, in common with 
all cold surfaces, when it is brought into warm and damp rooms ; and 
who would further have sufficient faith and imagination to interpret, 
in a manner capable of satisfying others, what those particles of depo- 
sited dew meant, and compel them to yield up their concealed Cassan- 
dra-like predictions. 

Some months have elapsed since I purchased this bead, and I was 
given to understand it was brought from one of the midland counties, 
I believe Meath, where an itinerant dealer procured it from the person 
by whom it was found : he could tell nothing of the circumstances under 
which it had turned up. Compared with the crystal spheres in this 
Academy its dimensions are moderate, being twenty-seven millimetres 
in diameter ; the rock crystal composing it is clear, translucent, almost 
limpid, and the sphere is perforated by an aperture of large size, five 
mm. wide ; when the bead is placed on end, and this perforation viewed 
from above downwards, the rapid expansion of the cylindrical tube 
into a cone might, without difficulty, be regarded as somewhat super- 
natural and not altogether canny : and it is easy to understand the influ- 
ence of such an idea upon the untutored mind of an individual living 
one or two thousand years ago ; for some of these crystals lay claim to 
histories of long duration, though I am convinced several are not en- 
titled to it, nor can they give adequate proofs of such remote antiquity ; 
and there are good grounds for concluding that identically similar 
balls of rock crystal continue to be manufactured in the East, in China, 
and Japan, even to the present day. 

On referring to the Catalogue of our own Museum, which recalls to 
us the labours of Sir William Wilde, and forms a lasting monument of 
his archseologic skill, we find these interesting crystals received from 
him due attention, and he offers us a clear and satisfactory account of 
them. Of true crystal balls we now possess three specimens. 

No. 1 measures in girth 6f inches ; it originally belonged to the 
Scottish family of the Campbells of Craignish, Ai-gyleshire ; the large 
crack noticed in it is reported to have been caused by its owner drop- 
ping it on a hearthstone. It came into the Museum several years 
since, and is traditionally asserted to have appertained at one time to 

292 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

the Scottish, regalia. I have failed to verify this statement, and do 
not consider that the slightest grounds exist for such a legend. 

JS'o. 2 measures in girth 5f inches. This ciystal hall was found at 
Upper Cross, in Co. Kilkenny. Its form is not that of a perfect 
sphere, and it has numerous flaws. 

1^0. 3 has a girth of 4f inches, and is encircled hy four slender 
decorated silver straps, looped at one of the points of intersection. It 
was formerly in the possession of the late Mr. Boylan, of Grrafton- 
street, and is described in vol. vii. p. 128, of our Proceedings. 

To these I would add descriptions of the following : — 

ISTo. 4. A magnificent specimen, free of blemish, and measuring no 
less than 9^ inches in girth. Owing to the kindness of T. Longfield, 
Esq., lI.Pt.I.A., its possessor, I am permitted to exhibit it this even- 
ing. This exceptionally fine ball surpasses in size all I have yet seen. 
Mr. Longfield bought it some years since, and considers it of undoubted 
Eastern origin. 

K'o. 5. A sphere which is described in Notes and Queries, Fifth 
Series, vol. v. for 1878; it measured 5 inches in diameter, and its 
weight is stated to be 61b. 3oz. There is no history belonging to it. 

K"o. 6. Another crystal sphere, which was exhibited in the Dublin 
Exhibition of 1853, by Lord Eossmore. In the Catalogue, p. 153, it 
is described as having been found in a bog ; its measurements are not 

Ifo. 7 (Continental). Prof. G-. Stephens, in the 3rd Part of his 
great work on Old Iforthern Ptunic Monuments, which is just pub- 
lished, describes, p. 109, the exploration of certain early interments at 
Erei Laubersheim, a Ehein Hessian village, in the year 1873. The ske- 
leton of a lady was found, buried in one of these graves, and inteiTed with 
it a pair of silver brooches, one of them having a Runic inscription, of 
which he gives an engraving and translation : the tomb also contained 
two cloak-pins of gilt silver, two bronze shoe-buckles, a large buckle 
of ii'on, a glass goblet, and a large glole of roch crystal, together with 
several other articles. According to Prof. Stephens the Runes re- 
cord she was a priestess, and he therefore draws the natural conclusion 
that the "large and costly crystal ball" may have served for "her 
official priestly showstone or magic mirror or consulting glass, so well 
known to students of occult lore, and of which several specimens have 
been found in ancient graves." This is an important specimen with 
reference to the earlier history of crystal spheres, for the date of the 
inteirments is considered by competent judges to be about the sixth 

The list will be more complete when we include the following re- 
ferences to certain rock crystal spheres found in Scotland ; for which 
purpose we would refer to a Paper of Sir James Simpson's {Free. Soc. 
of A7itiquaries of Scotland, vol. iv.) : treating of " Scottish magical 
charm stones, or curing stones," he describes — 

ISTo. 8. Clach na Bratach, the Stone of the Standard, belonging to 
Struan Robertson, the head of Clan Donnachie. This crystal, which 

Frazer — On a Perforated Ball of Rock Crystal. 293 

he gives a figure of, measures about 2 inches in diameter. Its le- 
gendary history commences previous to the field of Bannockburn, when 
it was discovered one morning in some clay adhering to the clan's flag- 
staff ; of course, this presaged victory, and ever after it accompanied 
the chieftains in their battles, and the varying hues of the crystal were 
consulted for augury. On the eve of Sherriffmuir, N'ov. 13, 1715, a 
large flaw was noticed in it. The cause of the Stuart kings was lost, 
and since that disastrous day the power of Clan Donnachaidt has de- 
clined. Popularly it had ascribed to it the property of curing diseases 
in men and cattle who drank of water into which it had been dipped; 
but, to secure this result, it was indispensable that the chief of the 
clan should operate as dipper. 

]^o. 9. ClachDearg, the Ardvoirlich Stone, possessed by the family 
from early times, and traditionally supposed to have come from the 
East. It is set in four intersecting silver bands, with a loop for sus- 
pension similar to one of the specimens in our collection, and those 
bands are alleged to be of Eastern workmanship. Its healing proper- 
ties were always held in high repute, particularly for cattle. The per- 
son who required its assistance was obliged to draw the water himself, 
and bring it into the house in some vessel into which the stone was 
dipped, a bottle was then filled with the water and carried away ; but 
if, through mischance, its bearer entered any house with the water, 
whilst conveying it home, all its virtues were supposed to depart im- 

ISTo. 10. Sir Jas. Simpson describes a ciystal which was the pro- 
perty of the Campbells of Grienlyon, a roundish or ovoid ball, about 
\\ inches in diameter ; this also was protected by a silver mounting. 
To render its medicinal influence effectual, it required to be held in the 
hands of the laird when dipped into water. 

IS^o. 11. The amulet of the Bairds of Auchmeddan, also preserved 
in a silver setting, which has a comparatively modern inscription, claim- 
ing for it a legendary history reaching so far back as 1174. It is not 
a crystal ball, but composed of "Black-coloured flint," and I mention it 
because by an intermarriage with the Bairds it became the property of 
persons of my own clan, the Erasers of Eindrack. 

Sir W. "Wilde discriminates between the true polished spherical balls 
of rock crystal and sections of such spheres which he also describes : 
these were employed to decorate ancient works of art such as shrines and 
reliquaries, in which the crystal polished disk may vary in size from the 
bulk of a marble to that of a small orange : furthermore, there is a 
third class of crystals, far more numerous than sections of spheres, and 
likewise much employed in early jewellery, namely, rock crystals, cut 
en cabochon, or with the sides laterally compressed, so that they as- 
sume a scaphoid form. Of both forms we possess a rich store in our 
collection. Thus, for example, in the cross of Cong we have a sec- 
tion of a sphere of rock crystal inserted in. its centre part. 

There is another good example of polished rock crystal employed 
for the purpose of art decoration, in the form of a section of a sphere, 

294 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

set in tlie centre of tlie foot of the beautiful '' Ai'dagh Chalice," where 
it is surrounded by settings of amber and filagree work ; this part of 
the cup was highly ornamented, because, when not in use, the vessel 
would be placed in an inverted position. I refer for a full description 
of the chalice to the Earl of Dunraven's Paper, contained in vol. xxiv., 
of the Eoyal Irish Academy's Transactions, and to the coloured illustra- 
tions which accompany the Paper. 

In the Cathach of the O'Donnells there is a half-sphere, four com- 
pressed boat-shaped crystals, and one empty cavity, from which the 
stone has dropped out. 

On the cover of the Stowe Missal there is a boat-shaped crystal of 
large size, and two oval crystals of smaller magnitude. In the shrine 
of the Piacul, or Tooth of St. Patrick, there is inserted a section of a 

Besides those mentioned we possess several interesting reKquaries, of 
different sizes and classes of workmanship, the ornamentation usually 
consisting of silver setting, decorated with the characteristic boat-shaped 
crystals. It has been suggested that tliis special shape is symbolic of the 
"Vesica," but I do not purpose at present to consider the cabochon crys- 
tals, and therefore abstain from discussing the possible rehgious idea so 
conveyed. Suffice it to say that one of these reliquaries of early age 
is surmounted by a crucifix of archaic design, probably belonging to the 
14th century, and would itself deserve a careful investigation. In 
another reliquary a rude uncut crystal of Irish diamond replaces the 
polished stone ; and in another still we find the crystal imitated by a 
setting of ordinary glass. To avoid any error, let me here state that I 
have not examined these boat-shaped crystals with a view to determine 
their location as minerals ; some may be of Irish manufacture, others 
made in early ages on the Continent, where rock crystal has long been 
fabricated into elaborate works of art; but I believe the sections of 
true spheres, like the crystal balls, will be found to belong to the East 

The veneration in which rock crystal spheres were held will account 
for their forming portions of regalia ; and in Ireland, as well as Scot- 
land, certain families have preserved them for ages ; and the Irish 
peasant and farmer have sought their assistance to ward off and cure 
disease — especially when attacking the cattle. 

No. 12 is a good illustration of such a sphere, celebrated for its 
medicinal and magical powers. It is in the possession of the Marquis 
of Waterford, and the tradition regarding its ancient history is that it 
was brought from the Holy Land by one of his Le Poer ancestors 
during the period of the Crusades. The curative properties of this sphere 
were eagerly sought after even for remote districts, in order that when 
placed in a running stream they might drive the cattle backwards and 
forwards through the water, by which means a cure was said to be 
obtained, or threatened disease could be warded off ; or simpler still, the 
cattle drank from water in which the ball was immersed. 

The property of foretelling events by the assistance of these crystal 

Frazer — On a Perforated Ball of Rock Crystal. 295 

globes lias obtained believers do"^ii to our own times. So late as 1862, 
there was a trial in the Queen's Bench in England, where an action for 
damages was brought by ICr. R. J. Morrison, better known as Zadkiel, 
the proprietor of a " Prophetic Almanack," against Admiral Sir 
Edward Beecher, who wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph which 
Zadkiel considered injurious. It would appear the crystal in question 
(No. 13) was bought from a dealer wbo said it had formerly belonged 
to the Countess Blessington. Zadkiel preserved it in a puce-coloured 
bag, and produced it in Court, drawing the globe wdth much reserve 
from its retirement with a blue ribbon (a procedure, I regret to say, 
which is described as productive of irreverent laughter). He told the 
Court that with this ball he could foretell futurity, and had obtained 
four qualified seers capable of looking into the globe with success. 
One of these immaculate individuals was his own son — though the 
father modestly did not advance a personal claim. Several persons of 
distinction were produced in Court as witnesses, or cited as having seen 
the magical proceedings. The list included numei'ous lords, the Bishop 
of Lichfield, Baron Bunsen, and Lord E. B. Lytton. Some of these 
individuals, who were personally examined, could only say they saw 
nothing in the crystal except numerous cracks. Zadkiel got a verdict 
for 20s. costs, as it was not proved he had obtained any money under 
false pretences — in fact he had never asked for it ; but sceptics might 
inquii'e why his gifted son could not foresee the termination of his 
father's lawsuit — a much simpler matter to predict than the fate of Sir 
John Franklin and his Arctic expedition. This globe of crystal was 
about 4 inches in diameter and full of flaws. 

Mr. Longfield informed me he thought the fine sphere which he 
has was brought from the East, either Japan or China ; and I owe to 
him conclusive evidence that the Chinese are also fabricators of counter- 
feit globes of ordinary glass ; for one of these imitations fell into his 
hands, and, being suspicious of its real nature, he had it examined and 
tested by Dr. Moss, in the Boyal Dublin Society. It had been presented 
as a valuable gift by a Chinese merchant to its possessor, who either 
had it mounted or obtained it already mounted upon a stand of silver, 
and always regarded it as composed of veritable rock crystal, and 
therefore very valuable, until undeceived as to its composition in 

This information led me to seek for further knowledge on the 
question, and I found in Mr. King's Work on Antique Gems, vol. i. 
p. 373, a distinct statement that balls of rock crystal are still utilized 
in Japan to keep the hands cool in sultry weather — a practical use to 
which they were also applied in the days of Imperial Home — for 
Propertius has two distinct references bearing on the point, which 
Mr. King quotes : — 

" Now courts tte air witli plumes of peacock fanned — 
Now holds the flintv globe to cool her hand." 

-(IL 24.) 

«. I. A. PROC.. VOL. II.. SER. 11. POL. LIT. .4XD .\NTIQ. 2 M 

296 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Again : — 

'■ what avails the Punic purple rare, 
Or that my hand the limpid crystal bear.'' 

-(IV. 3.) 

If it were needed to have additional confirmation of the use of balls 
of crystal by the Romans, we may refer to a brief Paper in the " Kil- 
kenny Archaeological Journal" for 1852-3, in which a statement of 
Montfaucon is given, which asserts that it was customary to deposit balls 
of rock crystal in sepulchres and urns in early ages. Thus twenty-four 
were found in Rome contained in an Alabaster urn, and one was dis- 
covered in 1653 at Tournai, in the tomb of a Prankish king, considered 
to be that of Childeric, who died a.d. 480. 

Rock crystal spheres are constantly made at present in China, for 
there they constitute the appropriate badge on the cap of certain officials. 
There are eight different grades who wear distinctive coloured balls 
on their caps, in addition to other marks of dignity; and the fifth grade 
is specially distinguished by possessing a hcdl of rock crystal. This is, 
so far as I can learn, about the size of a large marble, and perforated, 
l^ow it is obvious there must be a large manufacture of such balls in 
constant operation; and the patient industry of a Chinaman would be 
quite adequate to produce perfect spheres of much larger size than 
marbles if required. The unchanging character of manufactures in 
China would explain the production of identically similar crystal balls 
in the time of the Romans, and during the revival of commerce with the 
far East, at the period of the Crusades, and its continuance up to our 
own times. The mineralogical evidence also strengthens this view, forthe 
special character of the quartz admits of our ascribing to it a Chinese 
origin. From the 12th to the 16th century works of high art were carved 
from masses of crystal in Italy, Germany, and France ; but, so far as 
I can ascertain, not spheres. Wondrous also as are the engravings of 
Assyrian, Babylonic, and Egyptian origin in haematite, agate, and 
even hard basalt, yet we do not obtain crystal spheres in association 
with undoubted works of those races. Their history rather points in 
the direction of the far East. They are objects of luxury to the Roman 
lady ; they are brought to decorate the shrines and reliquaries of our 
primitive Irish churches — the Eastern relations of which are undoubted ; 
they are the prized possession of knights returning from the Crusades 
to our western lands ; they are valued as rare and priceless objects fit 
for royal regalia ; and buried in the tomb of ancient king and priestess. 
Nor are the magical and curative powers ascribed to them less impor- 
tant as evidence of their foreign nationality : they were mysterious in 
their origin ; far beyond the skill of the native lapidary ; and valued 
as priceless gems alike by chieftain and clansman — conferring good 
fortune on their owners ; distributing the priceless gift of health to 
men and cattle ; nor did their simple-minded possessors question for a 
moment that with their aid they could foretell futurity itself. 

Additional information about talismans used for the cure of dis- 
eases of men and cattle in Ireland will be found in vol. v., N.S., " Kil- 

Frazer — On a Perforated Ball of Rock Crystal. 297 

kenny ArchEeological Journal," 1867, which contains a Paper on 
" Irish Medical Superstition," by the late John Windele, Esq. (see pp. 

Also in the same Journal, 4th series, vol. iii., where Mr. Gr. M. 
Atkinson describes and figures the Imokilly amulet, composed of dark- 
grey banded agate, streaked with white lines and perforated. The 
sphere measures, l-rl inches in diameter, and weighs 5 oz. : in 1875, 
it was in the possession of Maurice Fitzgerald, Esq., Manager, Munster 
Bank, Midleton, the representative of the Seneschals of Imokilly. In 
the same Paper another hard brown stone amulet, termed a murrain 
stone, is alluded to as being used at Bally vourney, county Cork, which 
is a sphere of about 5^ inches in diameter. To this tradition " ascribes 
many virtues, and its performances in the hands of Saint Gobinet were 
incredible." Still another medical stone is stated to have been owned 
by Mrs. iN'oonao, of LiscarroU, and after her death was in the posses- 
sion of her daughter, Mrs. Goold. It is about the size of a large 
marble, and composed of shining crystal ; probably it consists of trans- 
lucent quartz, though its exact composition is not stated in the Journal. 


298 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XLVII. — Ancient Ceoss-bow or ''Latch," obtaiked in Dublin duk- 
iNG THE Excavations in the Plitnket- street Area, in 1883. By 
William Frazer, F. E. C. S. I., M. R. I. A. 

[Read, June 9, 1884.] 

This interesting specimen of a weapon that has long fallen into disuse 
in active warfare came into my possession through, the medium of per- 
sons who had bought it from its original discoverer. Soon after it was 
unearthed, I endeavoured to ascertain the circumstances under which 
it was procured ; but it was possible to rely with certainty only on the 
following points, which I have reasonable ground for believing are 
correct : — 

About a year since, extensive clearances were being made in our city 
in what is known as the Plunket-street Area : when removing the old 
dilapidated houses portions of the ancient walls were laid bare, con- 
structed of firm stone masonry. These outlying fortifications of the 
city had on one side of them probably, in former times, a wide fosse or 
ditch, such as was usual in similar situations ; but all trace had disap- 
peared of such a ditch, and it was filled with soil. Now, I believe 
that it was in excavating somewhere on the site of this old ditch that 
the cross-bow was procured ; but when or whereabouts, or at what 
exact depth from the surface it was obtained, I am imable to say. It 
must have fallen into my possession within a few days of its discovery, 
for the woodwork of the shaft was sodden with moisture and soft from 
having lain so many years in damp clay, and it required careful dry- 
ing for its preservation. Subsequently I saturated the woodwork 
with the best preservative I know of, pure, which not only 
keeps the wood from decay, but preserves it from the ravages of worms, 
a fertile source of anxiety to collectors like myself. Another conclu- 
sive evidence of its recent removal from the ground was, that mud still 
filled up different portions of its sunk ornamentation ; and I regret to 
say that inserted pieces, probably of silver work, were missing, which 
I found it impossible to recover. This was the more annoying, as their 
value was trifling, and they could not have been long taken away — 
possibly by the finder; however, enough traces of decoration remained 
to show that the shaft was originally ornamented with inserted twists 
of silver wire, and small portions of bone, inlaid in little circles, form- 
ing patterns sunk into the wooden stock. 

This ornamental and neatly -made weapon is of such light and ele- 
gant form that we can without difiiculty believe it was intended for the 
use of a lady or noble, and such as would be better adapted for hunt- 
ing purposes than as a weapon of warfare ; in fact it appears to be 
such a cross-bow as in the days of Queen Elizabeth would be termed 
a "Prodd" or "Latch," and of which several examples, still more 
elaborate in their decorations than this specimen, are preserved in col- 
lections of ancient arms and armour. The formidable arbalast of 
older construction required the use of a winding apparatus to set the 
bow a cranequin, or moulinot, but this was utilized by means of a le- 

Frazer — Oil ail Ancient Cross-bow or "Latch.'' 299 

verage arraugeumut of which sufficient remains are left to explain its 
action. We cannot be far astray in attributing its age to about the 
time of Elizabeth ; or possibly somewhat later — say early in the reign 
of James I. The appellation " Latch" applied to cross-bows of lighter 
and more portable construction, worked by a form of lever instead of 
the old-fashioned hand windlass, dates back at least to the year 1547, 
Edward VI. 's reign, and was possibly applied, owing to the manner in 
which the string was caught, and again discharged, in propelling the 
bolt or arrow. 

There are a few matters of historic interest connected with the 
use of the cross-bow worth bearing in recollection. At one period it 
was considered to be a weapon of such malignant and formidable cha- 
racter that it deserved to occupy a position altogether outside the pale 
of civilized legitimate warfare ; in fact, it ranked much in the same 
way as explosive bullets or the employment of dynamite would be 
viewed in modern battle-fields. Thus the arbalast was altogether 
prohibited from being made use of by the 29th Canon of the Second 
Council of Lateran, a.d. 1139 ; this was during the reign of our King 
Stephen of England, and of Louis le Jeune of France. The words of 
the Canon are, " Artem illam mortiferam et Deo odibilem Ballastari- 
orum et sagittariorum adversus Christianos et Catholicos exerceri di 
csetero sub anathemate prohibemus." 

It was too useful a weapon, however, to be given up until replaced 
by more formidable and dangerous means of destruction ; and Eichard 
of England, who was in some degree instrumental in its employment, 
having lost his life from a cross-bow bolt, when warring in France, 
"was considered to aiford a good moral lesson of the danger of trifling 
with such prohibitions, and of the vengeance that must follow similar 
offenders against such important laws. 

Some centuries later, Henry VII. tried the effects of statute law in 
prohibiting the use of the cross-bow. at least by the commonalty. It 
was ordained by Parliament that " jS^o man shall shoot with the cross- 
bow without the King's license, except he be a lord, or have two hun- 
dred marks in land." 

It would be rather difficult to say at what time cross-bows ceased 
to be employed. Planche, in his valuable Cyclopasdia of Costume, 
figures a " Prodd," or hunting cross-bow, which he refers to so late a 
period as that of William III. This instrument was made with a 
stock similar to that of an ordinary gun or carbine, for steadying 
against the owner's shoulder in taking aim at game ; but there is no 
question that in a modified form cross-bows were in use until a very 
recent date ; in fact, as a boy, I made and owned a rather efficient 
cross-bow, capable of killing small birds and breaking windows. 
These bows were usually fashioned like the "Prodd" of the time of 
William III., with a stock like that of a gun, and had a trigger for 
<lischarging the bolt or arrow : the bow itself was made from a strong 
piece of lancewood, and the string most preferred was catgut. Of late 
years such weapons appear to have vanished altogether, even from the 
recollection of school-bovs. 

300 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XLYIII. — Desckiption of a Laege Silver Plaque, Commemorative 


Feazee, F. E. C. S. I., M. R. I. A. 

[Read, June 9, 1884.] 

A SLIGHT acquaintance with the subject will serve to explain the spe-^ 
cial interest taken by persons who devote their attention to numismatic 
and medallic pursuits, in that earlier class of medals and plaques cast 
or struck during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Such medals 
are of importance to the historian, for they record events considered of 
sufficient value by their fabricators to be transmitted in an indestmc- 
tible form to succeeding ages ; and they are likewise, as a rule, works 
of decided artistic excellence, the outcome of a period and of men whose 
achievements in every department, whether literature, art, or state- 
craft, were remodeling ancient modes of thought, and laying the foun- 
dations of all our subsequent advance in human knowledge. When 
portraits are represented, they preserve reliable likenesses of distin- 
guished individuals, of many of whom no other record equally faithful 
is obtainable ; and whenever the artist has designed a picture of the 
passing events of his time, or has developed some imaginary, perhaps 
complimentary, mythologic scene, still tbe grace and boldness of his 
design and the successful mode of its execution impart to these small 
pictures in metal features as well deserving of careful study and ap- 
preciation as the larger and better known efforts of the painter upon 
his broad canvas. Nor will the collector value them less because they 
have to be diligently sought for : like rare gems, they hold their 
price ; and of late years so rapidly has the price increased that their 
acquisition can only be hoped for at considerable pecuniary cost. 

Of these early medals, the special class relating to Luther and the 
times of the Reformation are few in number, and proportionally es- 
teemed. To make this fact intelligible we must bear in mind that 
"the art of medal engraving had only reached Grermany a few years 
before Luther began to make his name known as a Reformer. It was 
still a very costly process, and confined altogether to the service of the 
great. This accounts for the fact that we have only four contempo- 
rary medals of Luther and other actors in the Reformation, excepting 
those of a more exalted rank, such as Pope Leo X., the Emperor 
Charles v., Henry VIII. of England, and the Electors of Saxony." So 
writes Mr. C. E. Iveary in his introductory observations upon the series 
of medals which were exhibited in connexion with the Luther Exhibi- 
tion in 1883, held in the Grenville Library, at the British Museum. 

These few remarks will serve to explain the reasons why I am de- 
sirous of recording the existence of a large-sized medallic plaque com- 
memorative of Luther and the commencement of the Reformation, 
which appears to be possibly contemporaneous with the event it re- 

Frazer — Description of a Large Silver Plaque. 301 

presents, or at least made shortly after it. Furthermore, so far as I 
can ascertain, the plaque is altogether unique, for it is undescribed in 
those works where it would have been figured and recorded if known. 
I purchased this medallion some time since. It is impossible to as- 
certain its previous history, or who were its former possessors. It is a 
casting made in silver, apparently from an original design executed 
with much spirit, and displaying decided artistic ability. The plaque 
is of large size, measuring four inches in diameter, and having a silver 
ring for suspension. The casting has been worked over by chasing or 
impressing tools, with delicate care, covering much of the surface with 
linear successions of minute raised points. The centre of the medal 
represents in the back ground a church-door and surrounding walls ; 
outside is a group of people skilfully disposed, and dressed in the cos- 
tume of the time ; two of these, standing in the foreground to the left 
of the field, with unbonneted heads, are addressed by Luther, whose 
right arm is extended, whilst the left arm is bent to his side and sup- 
ports a Bible or book; he is dressed in full academic robes, and although 
the entire figure is less than 2 inches in height, it is easy to recog- 
nize in it a good portrait representation of the Eeformer ; indeed the 
face is a fair characteristic likeness of his features such as we see them 
in engravings, &c. The broad border surrounding the centre medallion 
bears the inscription "Mit Gott begonnen," in German letters, and 
beneath are the words " Zu Wittenberg den 31 October, 1517;" a date 
which corresponds to his famous denunciation of Indulgences and the 
publication of his Thesis, which he caused to be affixed to the door of 
the Castle church at Wittenberg. A copy of the Indulgence was 
exhibited recently in London, and there is a photograph of it in the 
British Museum Handbook of the Luther Exhibition. 

302 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

XLIX. — Oii THE Identification of the Animaxs and Plants of 
India tvhich tteee known to eaely Geeek Authoes. By Y. Ball, 
M.A., r.E.S., Director, Science and Art Museum, Dublin, 

[Read, Jiine 9, 1884.] 

In a communication made by me last year to tbe Eoyal Geological 
Society of Ireland, entitled "A Geologist's Contribution to the History 
of India," I endeavoured to identify many mineral productions wMcb 
are mentioned by the writers of antiquity. Partly by the recorded 
characteristics of these minerals, partly by such indications as are 
given of the localities whence they were derived, I was enabled, by a 
comparison with our present knowledge of the mode of occurrence 
and distribution of minerals in India, to arrive at a number of con- 
clusions, the main tendency of which has been to show that many 
apparently extravagant and fictitious stories by these early writers 
rest on substantial bases of facts. 

While engaged upon that inquiry with reference to minerals, I 
came upon numerous allusions to animals and plants, for some of 
which, in spite of their apparently mythical character, I felt sure 
that equally substantial foundations could be found by subjecting 
them to the same sort of analytical comparisons with known facts. 
From time to time, as leisure has been found for the purpose, I have 
carried on this investigation, and have occasionally published some of 
the results.-^ 

Inquiries like these belong, if I may use the expression, to a border 
land where the student of books and the student of nature may meet 
and afford one another mutual assistance. 

I possess no special philological qualifications for this kind of work, 
and have only a slight acquaintance with a few of the languages of 
India ; but, on the other hand, I think I may lay claim to the 
possession of some special knowledge of the animals and plants of 
India, the ideas about them which are current among the natives. 
and the uses they put them to. During my travels in the wildest 
regions of India I have ever taken an interest in the customs and 
beliefs of the so-called aboriginal tribes, and have had many opportuni- 
ties for tracing out stories believed by them, and also sometimes by 
Europeans, to the sources from whence they had originated This kind 
of experience enables me now to take up the tale of explanation where 
it has often been left by linguists and historians, and carry it forward 
to a satisfactory conclusion. 

A want of personal acquaintance with India, or when that was 
possessed, a want of such information as can only be acquired by a 

1 The Academy, April 21, 1883, and April 19, 188i. 

S)^!.!.— Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 303 

field naturalist, using the title in its widest sense, has caused many com- 
mentators, both among the early Greeks and Eomans and the Continental 
and English literati of the present day, when at a loss to explain the 
so-called myths, to turn upon their authors and accuse them roimdly of 
mendacity. Thus Strabo states succinctly that, " Generally speaking, 
the men who have hitherto written on the affairs of India were a set of 
liars." Again, Lassen has spoken of Ktesias, when referiing to a par- 
ticular statement of his, in much the same way, although I shall be 
able to demonstrate that the condemnation was in that particular case 
wholly undeserved. 

The Euemeristic treatment of myths, according to which all that is 
possible may be accepted as historical, while the remainder is to be 
rejected as fiction, is all very well, provided that the person who con- 
ducts the analysis has become competent to do so by the natui'e and 
extent of his experience. 

Elsewhere^ I have recorded numerous reported cases of children 
having been found living in wolves' dens in India ; and these, to say 
the least, cannot be fairly disposed of in the off-hand manner that the 
follower of the Euemeristic doctrine would apply to the story of 
Romulus and Eemus, and many others like it. 

The well-known Arabian story, related by the author of Sinbad 
the Sailor, Marco Polo, and Nicolo Conti, of the method of obtaining 
diamonds by hurling pieces of meat into a valley, had its origin, as I 
believe, in an Indian custom of sacrificing cattle on the occasion of 
opening up new mines, and leaving portions of the meat as an offer- 
ing to the guardian deities, these naturally being speedily carried 
off by birds of prey. This custom is not yet extinct. 

The so-called myth of the gold-digging ants was not cleared up till, 
by chance, information was received^ as to the customs and habits of 
the Thibetan gold miners of the present day. Then Sir H. Rawlin- 
son, and, independently, Dr. Schiem, of Copenhagen, were enabled to 
come forward and state beyond a question of doubt that the myrmeces 
of Herodotus and Megasthenes were Thibetan miners, and, it may be 
added, their dogs. The same dogs are now for the first time identified, 
as will be seen further on, with the griffins. The full account of this 
discovery by the above-named authors would find its proper place in 
a Paper on races of men, so that I pass from it now, save that I 
mention a contribution which I have made to it, namely, that the 
horn of the gold-digging ant, which we are told by Pliny was pre- 
served in the temple of Hercules at Erythrte, and which for centuries 
has been the subject of much speculation, was probably merely one 
of the gold-miners' pickaxes. I have been informed by an eye- 
witness, Mr. R. Lydekker, that the picks in use by agriculturists and 
miners in Ladak consist of horns of wild sheep mounted on handles. 

^ Jungle Life in India, and Journal of tlie Anthropological Institute, 1880. 
^ From the Reports of the Pundits employed in Trans-Himalayan Exploration 
by the Indian GoMjrnnient. 

304 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

I believe it probable that Dr. Schiern would be willing to accept this 
in preference to his own suggestion, namely, that the horns were taken 
from the skins which are worn as garments by the Thibetans. Per- 
haps it is as well to add here further, for the benefit of those who 
may not be aware of the origin of the connexion between ants and gold, 
that independently that part of the myth was cleared up some years 
ago, first by Dr. Wilson,* who pointed out that the Sanskrit name for 
the small fragments of alluvial gold (gold dust) \i?i.'s, faippilalia, meaning 
" ant-gold," in reference to the size and form ; but the characteristics 
of the "ants" were always supposed, up to the year 1867, to havo 
been wholly imaginative. Then, however, it was found, as related 
above, that these characteristics were in the most minute pai'ticulars 
identical with those of Thibetan miners. The whole is an example of 
what has occuried in reference to other subjects also, namely, the 
too literal acceptance by the Greeks of the signification of Oriental 
words, the merely symbolical meaning not having been understood 
as such. This is, for instance, notably the case with reference to 
the " Indian Eeed " : cf. p. 336. 

It may be here noted that in the foot-notes to various editions of 
Ktesias, Megasthenes, Herodotus, ^lian, and Strabo, i. e. the authors 
who furnish the principal part of the statements with which this 
Paper deals, commentators have not unfrequently suggested altera- 
tions in the accepted text to suit their preconceived notions of what 
is possible. With regard to several cases of this kind, I believe the 
explanations offered in the following pages will show that the 
text would lose the meanings intended were such changes adopted. 
Again, there are cases where commentators have suggested deriva- 
tions for Greek words from Sanskrit or Persian names, which wiU, I 
think, be shown to be incorrect. 

Many of the identifications of animals and plants suggested by com- 
mentators exhibit a sublime indifference on their part to the laws 
which govern and the facts observed with reference to the geographical 
distribution of animals. Such looseness is Mkin to the custom common 
enough among Englishmen in India of talking about animals bynames 
strictly applicable to species not found in the Oriental Region. Thus 
you will hear, at the present day, sportsmen speaking of panthers, 
TdIsou, elk, armadillos, alligators, toucans, canvas-back-ducks, and 
humming-birds as being commonly shot by them iu India, though as 
a matter of fact none of the animals to which these names are correctly 
applicable are ever f oimd beyond the limits of the American Continent. 

As an example of how statements about animals sometimes re- 
quire strict investigation, I remember on one occasion an Englishman 
assuring me very positively that sulphur-crested cockatoos were to be 
found in large numbers in a particular jungle in the Central Provinces 
of India. On my pointing out the impossibility of such being the case, 

■* Asiatic Researches. 

Ball — Identification of the Anitnais and Plants of India. 305 

the only evidence he could bring in support of the statement that this 
essentially Australian bird was to be found so far from its proper 
limits, was that the Eajah of the district told him so when he had 
been shown a domesticated specimen. To which I could only reply 
that a boastful spirit as to the resources of his own territory must 
have led the Rajah to be guilty of what was a downright falsehood. 

I have still another charge to make against the commentators. Tip 
to the very last edition of one of our Greek authors, which was pub- 
lished in the present year, a custom has been in practice of passing very 
stale comments from one to another, without reference being made to 
more recent and direct sources of information. 

And here I would mention the names of two encyclopaedists for 
whose works I have the greatest respect and admiration : they are 
Lassen and Ritter, to the researches by both of whom commentators are 
much beholden. But as may readily be conceived, during the last fifty 
years there has been a great advance in our scientific and accurate 
knowledge of the animals and plants of India, nevertheless we find 
modern editors making use of statements proximately derived from 
Lassen, but which are often ultimately traceable to that most indus- 
trious compiler, Karl Ritter, who wrote nearly fifty years ago. Were 
he alive he would probably have kept better abreast with modern 
research than have so many who now use the data which he collected 
from still earlier writers. Surely such a statement as that there is at 
present a tribe of Khonds in the Dekkan, who eat the bodies of their 
deceased relatives, is one that ought not to appear, as it does in a 
recent edition, except it can be substantiated.^ It may be true ; but, 
I must confess, that without modern and undoubted proof of the fact, 
I am unwilling to believe it. 

The original texts of Megasthenes and Ktesias not having been 
preserved to us, except as fragments which have been incorporated by 
other authors, we cannot say with certainty what they may or may 
not have contained ; but it is sufficiently apparent that it is precisely 
the most marvellous and apparently impossible descriptions which have 
been preserved, sometimes out of mere curiosity, and sometimes for pur- 
poses of condemnation ; the plain matter-of-fact stories about men, 
animals, and plants, if they ever existed, have been irretrievably lost. 

Though not unaware that I run the risk of some adverse criticism 
when entering into an arena of controversy like this, I have already 
received a considerable amount of encouragement from quarters 
where such work is duly appreciated ; but the highest incentive 
I have had in the elucidation of these myths, apart at least from the 
interest of the study itself, is, that as a former Indian traveller myself, I 
derive a sincere pleasure in so far establishing the veracity and reliev- 
ing the characters of travellers from the aspersions which during 
twenty centuries, more or less, have been freely cast upon them. 

^ Cf. Herodotus, by Prof. Sayce. 

306 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

I take for my text and for my justification, if need there be, tlie 
following passage from De Gubernatis, who, although, the author of a 
zoological mythology, lays no claim to being a zoologist himself. He 
says: "And if I have sought to compare several physiological laws 
with the myths, it is not because I attribute to the myth a wisdom 
greater than that which it contains in reality, but only to indicate that, 
much better than metaphysics, the science of JS^ature, with the criteria 
of positive philosophy can help us to study the original production of 
myths and their successive development in tradition." 

It will be observed in the pages which follow that, besides the 
simple identifications, there are what may conveniently be called com- 
pound identifications of two classes. In the first, two or more animals, 
as described by the compilers, are shown to owe their origin to accounts 
by different authors of the same animals or plants, the identity of 
which was not perceived by compilers like ^lian {cf. p. 316). In the 
other class, under one name, characteristics belonging to more than one 
species are included {cf. p. 331). Both these, but especially the latter, 
have increased the difficulties of identification.^ 

But a few words remain to be said as to the arrangement of the facts 
contained in the following pages. Originally it was my intention to 
make use of some of them as illustrations of a Paper on the origin of 
myths ; but, as they multiplied, it seemed to me that they would have 
an additional value if they were so arranged that they could be easy 
of reference ; and, in order to complete the list, I have included many 
identifications which have been made by others. This is more parti- 
cularly the case with the plants yielding drugs : these have for a long 
time attracted the notice of botanists and other experts ; but their 
determinations have not in all instances been incorporated into the 
footnotes of commentators. 

There still remain a few accounts of animals and plants which have 
yet to be grappled with ; some of these I hope to be able to discuss 
hereafter, and it may be that I shall see my way to account for some 
of the so-called mythical tribes of men described by the early Greeks. 
Some of them, however, appear to be quite beyond the reach of ex- 
planation, but others may possibly be identified with particular 
tribes of what are commonly, but not always correctly, called the 
aboriginal inhabitants of India. 

^ Pliny's accounts of minerals furnish a striking example of both: on the one 
hand, under half a dozen different names, culled from diiferent authors, he has de- 
scribed the same mineral over and over again without recognizing the identity. In 
several cases, notably in that of the Adamas, he describes several distinct minerals 
under one title. 

Ball — Identification of the Aniviah and Plants of India. 307 




1. TliO-qKos, Monkey {Inuus rhesus), 308 

2. KepKoniOriKos, ,, {Presbijtis priamui), . . . 309 

3. "Opis TTTipu)T6s Bat {Pteropus edwardsi), 310 

4. Maprixi^pas, Tiger [Fells tigris), 310 

5. KpoKOTTas,'' Hysena [Hycena crocuta), 312 

6. Tpuij/, . Dog [Canis domesticus), ( Var. tibe- 

tanus), 312 

7. Kucov, Jiog {Canis domesticus), 314 

8. AeXcpis, Dolphin [Platanista gangetica & Bel- 

phinus, Sp.), 315 

9. Krjros, "Whale [Balcenoptera indiea), . . . 315 

10. 'EA60aj, Elephant {Elephas indlcus), .... 316 

■t'' 1 "/ ./ ' t Rhinoceros (Shinoceros indicus), . . . 316 

IvOiKdS ovos, ) ^ '' 

12. "Ovos ayptos, "Wild ass [Equus onager), . . ■ . 318 

13. ■^Ys, Pig {Sus indicus), 319 

14. UpSfiara Kal aiyes, .... Sheep & Goats {Ovis et Capra), . . . 319 

15. 'KypioRovs, Tak {PoepJiagus grunniens), .... 320 

16. ^axTayTjs, Pangolin (?) {Manis petitadactyla), . . 321 


17. 'AsTo'j, Eagle [Aquila chrysmtus), .... 322 

18. BiTTa/cos, t/ziTTa/cos, .... Vaxiaqxiei {Palceornis eupatrius), . . . 323 

19. "ETroi//, Hoopoe [Euptipa epops), 323 

20. KepKioy, ^iiil laama, {Eulabes religiosa ov E. inter- 

media), 324 

21. TIeAeids x^(^P^''^'''^^os, . . . Green -pigeon (Crocopus cJdorigaster), . 324 

22. 'A\eKTpv6v€s /x4yi<TT0i, . . . 'Monal-ph.easa.nt,[ZophopIiori'.simpeyanus), 324: 

23. KTi\as, Adjutant {Zeptoptilos argala), . . . 325 


24. XeXclovri, Fresh-T^ater turtle (Trionyx Sp.), . . 325 

25. "Ocpis ffTrt6aiJ.iaioT, .... JUscobTa, {Eublepha7-is Sj}.?), .... 326 

26. Skc^AtjI, Ciocodile {C?-ocodilus indicus, OT Gavialis 

gangeticits?), 326 

27. "O^is, Python (Python molurus), .... 329 

28. ,, "Water Snake (ffydrophis, Sp.), ... 329 


29. MeXt Honey, Bees [Apis dorsata), .... 330 

30. Mvp/x-ni 6 IvSo'j, Termites [Termes, Sp.), 330 

31. "HKeKTpov, &c., Amber & Lac insect (C'occiw ^acca), . . 331 

32. AiKaipov, Dung beetle [Scarabceus sacer), . . . 333 

7 This animal is included here because it has been mistaken by some com- 
mentators for the Indian jackal. It belongs, as correctly stated by Ktesias, to the 
African fauna. 

308 Proceedings of the Boy al Irish Academij. 



1. "Opv^a Eice [Oryza sativa), 334 

2. MeAi rh KaKajxivov, .... Sugar Cane [Saccharum officinarum) , . 334 

3. <l>Aoio'y, ? Papyrus {Fapyrus pangorei), . . . 335 

4. KaAa^os 'Iv^mSs, Palmyra Palm {Borassus flabelliformis) , 336 

5. NauTrAios, Cocoa-nut {C'ocos nucifera), .... 337 

6. ndprt^ov, Pipal [Ficus religiosa), ■ 338 

7. Afudpea eipia (pepovra, . . . Cotton (Gossypium indlciun), .... 339 

8. '2,1-KTaxopas, part,** .... Khusum [Scldeichera trijuga), . . . 339 

9. AvKLov, Lycium [Berberis tinctoria), .... 340 

10. BSeAAioj-, 'BA.e]]i\nii[Balsamodendi-onmuktil,^o6k.), Z^Q 

11. IleTrepi, Pepper {Fipernigrum), ...... 341 

12. MaXa^aQpov, Malabathxum [Cinnamomum tamala), . 341 

13. KapTTiov, Karpion ( ,, Sp.), 342 

14. Kaffcria, Cassia ( ,, cassia), . . . 342 

15. 'Iv'SiKhv fxtXav, Indigo [Fndigofera tinctoria), . . . 343 

16. AeuSpov \6ttovs s^ov, . . . Aniultas, H. {Cassia fistula), .... 343 

17. "Avdos TTopcpvpovv, .... Dhaura H. [Grislea tomentosa), . . . 344 

18. 'S.LTTTo.xopas, part,^ .... Mhowa, H. [Bassia latifolia), . . . 339 

19. "EAaiov (Trjad/xivov, .... Sesajnum. {Sesamumindicum), . . . 344 

20. NapSos, Spikenard [Nardostachys jatmansi), . 343 

21. KoffTos Costus (Aucklandia costus), .... 345 

22. Mangrove (Bruguiera gymnorJiiza), . 345 


1. Mois^RET (TlLdrjKOs). 

Inuus rhesus, Des. (?) — The Bengal Monkey, or Macacus radiatus, Kuhl. 
The Madras Monkey. 

According to Straho, ^^ Megasthenes says, "There are monkeys, rollers 
of rocks, which climb precipices, whence they roll down stones upon their 
pursuers." I am not prepared to deny that this story may have origi- 
nated in the title of monkey which, as is wellknown, was freely bestowed 
upon the wild tribes of men who inhabited the jungles of India, and who, 
when attacked, often had recourse to this mode of defence against their 
better armed assailants. But that it is not impossible that the story 
may have referred to real monkeys will be apparent from the following 
personal experience of my own : — " When at Malwa Tal, a lake near 
Naini Tal, in the Himalayas, I was warned that in passing under a 
landsKp, which slopes down to the lake, I should be liable to have 
stones thrown at me by monkeys. Regarding this as being possibly 
a traveller's tale, I made a particular point of going to the spot in 
order to see what could have given rise to it. As I approached the 
base of the landslip, near the road on the north side of the lake, I saw 
a number of brown monkeys [Inuus rhesus) rush to the sides and 

8 Vide No. 18. 9 Vide No. 8. 

i" Geographica, xv. 1, 56. Cf. Megasthenes, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 58. 

Bai,l —Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 309 

■across the top of the landslip, and presently pieces of loosened stone 
and shale came tumbling down near where I stood. I fully satisfied 
myself that this was not merely accidental, for I distinctly saw one 
monkey industriously, witli both fore paws, and with obvious malice 
prepense, pushing the loose shingle off a shoulder of rock. I then 
tried the effect of throwing stones at them, and this made them quite 
angry, and the number of fragments which they set rolling was 
speedily doubled. This, though it does not actually amount to throw- 
ing or projecting an object by monkeys, comes very near to the same 
thing, and mokes me think that there may be truth in the stories of 
their throwing fi'uit at people from trees," " or at least dropping them 
on their heads. 


Preslytis priamus, Elliot. — The Madras Langur. 

There can be little doubt that another species of monkey, described 
by Megasthenes, as recorded by Strabo andiElian, belonged to the genus 
Preslytis, and it may, I tbink, be identified with the Madras species 
priamus rather than with the Eengal species entellus. " The monkeys 
of India," writes btrabo,^- "are larger than the largest dogs. They 
are white except in the face, which is black, though the contrary is 
observed elsewhere. Their tails are more than two cubits in length. ; 
they are very tame, and not of a malicious disposition, so that they 
neither attack nor steal." An account by JElian '^ is more detailed. 
" Among the Prasii (Sansk., Prachyas, i. e. Easterns) in India there are 
found, they say, apes of human-like intelligence, which are to appearance 
about the size of Hyrkanian dogs. I^ature has furnished them with fore- 
locks, which one ignorant of the reality would take to be artificial. Their 
chin, like that of a satyr, turns upward, and their tails are like the 
potent one of the lion. Their bodies are white all over, except the face 
and the tip of the tail, which are of a reddish hue. They are very intel- 
ligent and naturally tame. They are bred in the woods, where also 
they live, subsisting on the fruits which they find growing wild on 
the hills. They resort in great numbers to Latage, an Indian city, 
where they eat rice, which has been laid down for them by the 
King's orders. In fact, every day a ready-prepared meal is set out 
for their use. It is said that when they have satisfied their appetite 
they retire in an orderly manner to their haunts in the woods without 
injuring a single thing that comes in their way." .Julian gives 
another account also, which differs in some respects from the above; 
but on the whole, considering the region to which the account of 

^^ Jungle Life in India, p. 537. 

1* Geographica, xv. 1, 37. 

13 Hist. Anim., xvi. 10. Cf. Megasthenes, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 57. 

310 ProceediiHjH of the Eoijal Irish Academy. 

Megasthenes referred, I think that the species was the ahove, the 
technical description of which, given by Jerdon,^* is as follows : — 
*' Ashy grey colour, with a pale reddish or cliocolat au lait overlying- 
the whole back and head ; sides of the head, chin, throat, and beneath, 
pale yellowish ; hands and feet, whitish ; face, palms, and fingers, and 
soles of the feet and toes, black ; a high compressed vertical crest of 
hairs on the top of the head ; hairs long and straight, not wavy ; tail, 
of the colour of the darker portion of the back, ending in a whitish 
tuft; much the same size as entellus, i. e. — length to root of tail, 30 
inches ; tail, 43 inches ; but it attains a still larger size. Inhabits 
eastern ghats and southern portion of table-land of Southern India, 
also in Ceylon, but not extending to Malabar coast." 

Setting out rice for the use of monkeys, as described by -^lian, 
is a common custom at present. 

3. The FLYiNa Seepent ("09f)ts Trrepwros). 

Pteropus edwardsi, Geoff. — The Plying Fox. 

Strabo,^^ quoting from Megasthenes, tells us that there are "in 
some parts of the country serpents two cubits long, which have 
membranous wings like bats. They fly about by night, when they 
let fall drops of urine or sweat, which blister the skin of persons 
not on their guard, with putrid sores." ^lian^^ gives a similar ac- 
count. There can be little doubt that this is an exaggerated account 
of the great fruit-eating bats of India, which are known to Europeans 
as flying foxes. The extent of their wings, according to Jerdon, 
sometimes amounts to 52 inches, and in length they reach 14rJ inches. 
Though noisome animals in many respects, their droppings have not 
the properties above attributed. Flying foxes are eaten by some of 
the lower classes of natives, and Europeans who have made the expe- 
riment say the flesh is delicate and without unpleasant flavour. As 
to the winged scorpions which, according to Megasthenes, sting both 
natives and Europeans alike, I can only suggest that they were hornets 
of large size. 

4. The Maetikhoea (MapTt;)(oj/)a§, 'Ai/Spot^ayos). 

Felis tigris, Linn. — The Tiger. 

This animal was described by Ktesias as being of the size of the 
lion, red in colour, with human-like face, ears and eyes, three rows 
of teeth, and stings on various parts of the body, but especially on 
the tail, which caused it to be compared with the scorpion. Its 

^* Mammals of India, p. 7. 

1= Geographica, xv. 1, 37. Cf. J. W. M'Crindle's Megasthenes, p. 56. 

^^ Hist. Anim., xvi. 41. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 311 

name records the fact that it was a man-eater (Persian Mard-khor in 
its archaic form), and this characteristic is also expressly stated by 
Ktesias. It was hunted by the natives, from the backs of elephants. 
Although it has been suggested by some commentators that it was the 
tiger, none of them appear to have seen how the several statements 
can be shown to be founded on actual facts. Pausanius, for instance, 
attributes these details to the imagination of the Indians, excited by 
dread of the animal. Others appear to be unwilling to regard the 
animal as being capable of identification. Thus Lassen, referring to 
Ktesias' s assertion, that he had seen one of these animals with the 
Persian monarch, to whom it had been presented by the Indian king, 
asserts that "he cannot, in this instance, be acquitted of men- 

Among facts not generally known, though mentioned in some 
works on Zoology, is one which I can state from my own personal 
knowledge is familiar to Indian Shikaris — it is that at the extremity 
of the tail of the tiger, as well as of o\h.eY felidcB, there is a little homy 
dermal structure like a claw or nail, which, I doubt not, the natives 
regard as analogous to the sting of the scorpion. Moreover, the whis- 
kers of the tiger are by many natives regarded as capable of causing 
injury ; and sportsmen know, where this is the case, that the skins of 
their slaughtered tigers are liable to be injured by the plucking out or 
burning oif the whiskers — to avert accidents. The idea of the three 
rows of teeth probably had its origin in the three lobes of the carnivo- 
rous molar, which is of such a different type from the molars of 
ruminants and horses. The Martikhora was, therefore, I believe, the 
tiger, and the account of it embodies actual facts, though they were 
somewhat distorted in the telling. 

It may be said that it would not be difficult to present an account 
of the tiger derived from the attributes and characteristics ascribed to 
the animal at the present day by the natives, which would have a far 
less substantial basis of fact than has the one given to us by Ktesias. 

Aristotle gives an account of this animal, which account, he states, 
was taken from Ktesias.'* 

Megasthenes, according to Strabo, states with reference to tigers, 
that the largest are found among the Prasii (Sansk., Prachyas, i. e. 
Easterns), being nearly twice the size of the lion, and so strong that a 
tame tiger, led by four men, having seized a mule by one of the hind 
legs, overpowered it and dragged it to him.'^ Not a very remarkable 
performance, the Indian sportsman will remark, who knows what a 
tiger can do in the way of dragging heavy oxen for long distances over 

" Ancient India, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 77. 
IS De Hist. Anim., ii. 1. Vide postea, p. 346. 
19 Geographica, xv. i. 37. Cf. Megasthenes, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. t6. 


312 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

5. The Krokottas, or Ktnoltkos (Kpo/coVras, Ki;voXukos). 
Sycena crocuta. — The Spotted Hyaena. 

Ktesias, according to Photios,^° describes the above animal as fol- 
lows : — " There is in Ethiopia an animal called properly the Kro- 
kottas, but vulgarly the Kynolykos. It is of prodigious strength, 
and is said to imitate the human voice, and by night to call out men 
by their names, and when they come to fall upon them and devour them. 
This animal has the courage of the lion, the speed of the horse, and 
the strength of the bull, and cannot be successfully encountered with 
weapons of steel." 

This I am disposed to identify (as from the references given 
by him in a foot-note, so also does Mr. ll'Crindle) with the spotted 
hyaena [H. crocuta) of Africa — a very powerful animal — which, like 
its Indian relative {H. striata), has a hideous cry at night. It is, I 
believe, not conspicuous for courage ; but according to some accounts 
the lion is less courageous in reality than is generally supposed. That 
however is a small matter. I cannot but think that Lassen^^ is wrong 
in identifying, on philological grounds, this animal with the jackal, 
the Sanscrit name for the latter being Kottharaha from Kroslituha. This 
involves his saying, first, that the above were * ' fabulous attributes 
given to the jackal, an animal which frequently appears in Indian 
fables ; " and, second, that the Ethiopia of Ktesias meant India. Cf. 
Appendix, p. 346. 

6. The Gryphon", or Griffin (Tpvi]/). 

Cams domesticus, var. Tiletanus. — Thibetan Mastifis. 

According to Ktesias, as related by Photios," gold was obtained in 
certain ' ' high towering mountains which are inhabited by the griffins, 
a race of four-footed birds, about as large as wolves, having legs and 
claws like those of the lion, and covered all over the body with black 
feathers, except only on the breast, where they are red. On account 
of these birds the gold, with which the mountains abound, is difficult 
to be got." -3jllian's account of the same animals adds some probably 
spurious particulars — such as that the wings are white, the neck va- 
riegated with blue feathers, the beak like an eagle's, and that, accord- 
ing to the Baktrians, they built their nests of the gold which they 
dug out of the soil, but that the Indians deny this. He states that 
the auriferous region which the griffins inhabited was a frightful 

-" Ecloga in Photii, Bibl. Ixxii. Cf. Ancient India, by J. W. M'Crindle, pp. 32, 33. 

■■2' Ancient India, p. 75. 

*- Ecloga in Thotii, Bibl. Ixxii. 

Ball — Identification of the Animah and Plant n of India. 313 

Taking Photios's account alone, and excluding from it the word 
"birds, and for feathers reading hair, we have a tolerably accurate de- 
scription of the hairy hlack-and-tan-coloured Thibetan mastiffs, which 
are now, as they were doubtless formerly, the custodians of the dwell- 
ings of Thibetans, those of gold miners as well as of others. They 
attracted the special attention of Marco Polo, as well as of many other 
travellers in Thibet ; and for a recent account of them reference may 
be made to Capt. Gill's "River of Golden Sand." 

They are excessively savage, and attack strangers fiercely, as I have 
myself experienced on the borders of Sikkim. 

This identification serves also to clear up certain of the details in 
the story of Megasthenes and Herodotus, as to the gold-digging ants, 
which have heen identified hy Sir H. Ptawlinson and Professor Schiern, 
as mentioned in the introductory remarks on p. 303, with Thibetan 
gold miners and their dogs. The former, on account of the great cold, 
are and were clad in furs, and it would appear, shared with the dogs 
in giving characteristics to the famous ants which were for so long 
regarded as a myth incapable of explanation. The " ants" which, 
according to Herodotus, were taken to Persia, and kept there, were, I be- 
lieve, simply these mastiffs. He tells us^ elsewhere that Tritantachmes, 
Satrap of Babylon, under the Achfemenians, " kept a great number of 
Indian dogs. Pour large towns situated in the plain were charged 
with their support, and were exempted from all other tribute." 

Larcher, in his history of Herodotus, quotes the following, without 
however noticing how far it aids in clearing the myth of the griffins : — 
" M. de Thon, an author worthy of credit, recounts that Shah Thamas, 
Sophie of Persia, sent to Suliman one of these ants in 1559. ' Xuntius 
etiam a Thamo oratoris titulo quidam ad Solimanum venit cum mune- 
ribus, inter quae erat formim indiea, canis mediocris magnitudine, 
animal mordax et ssevum. Thuanus — Lib. xxiii.' " 

Regarding the name griffin or gryphon, the Persian giriften (to 
gripe, or seize) is suggested by Mr. M'Crindle as the source. Hin- 
dustani contains several words thence derived, as giriftar, a captive ; 
girift, seizure, &c. The Thibetans call their dogs gyake, or royal 
dogs, on account of their size and ferocity. 

It may be added here, in its proper place, though already mentioned 
in the introductory remarks, that a passage in Pliny's account of the 
ants,^* which has been the source of much difficulty to many who have 
discussed this question, admits, as I have elsewhere shown, of a satis- 
factory explanation. The passage is : — " Indicae formicae comua, 
Eiythris in sede Herculis fixa, miraculo fuere." The horn of the 
Indian ant was probably an example of the pickaxe even now in 
common use in Thibet. It is a sheep's horn fixed on a handle : this 
is, I think, more probable than that it was a horn taken fi'om one of 
the skin garments worn by the Thibetan miners, as has been sug- 
gested by Professor Schiern."^ 

^^ Clio, lib. I. cap. cxcii. -^ Hist. Nat. lib. xi. cap. xxxi. 

-^ Indian Antiquary, vol. iv. p. 231. 2 i\r2 

314 ProceedingH of the Royal Irish Academy. 

7. Dog {Kxnav). 
Canis and Cuon (?) — Domestic and Wild Dogs. 

There are various allusions by our authors to other dogs besides 
those which have been identified as the originals of the griffins. Thus 
Ktesias, according to Photios,-® says that "the dogs of India are of 
great size, so that they fight even with the lion." This may possibly 
refer to the well-known fact that packs of wild dogs ( Cuon rutilans) 
prove a match for the larger carnivora. There are numerous well 
authenticated cases of tigers having being killed by these dogs. 

_3^1ian-' relates that "Ktesias, in his account of India, says that the 
people called the Kynamologoi rear many dogs as big as the Hyrkanian 
breed ; and this Knidian writer tells us why they keep so many dogs, 
and this is the reason : from the time of the summer solstice on to 
mid-winter they are incessantly attacked by herds of wild oxen, 
coming like a swarm of bees or a flight of angry wasps, only that 
the oxen are more numerous by far. They are ferocious withal and 
proudly defiant, and butt most viciously with their horns. The 
Kynamologoi, unable to withstand them otherwise, let loose their dogs 
upon them, which are bred for this express purpose ; and these dogs 
easily overpower the oxen, and worry them to death. During the 
season when they are left unmolested by the oxen, they employ their 
dogs in hunting other animals. They milk the bitches, and this is 
why they are called Kynamologoi (dog-milkers). They drink this 
milk just as we drink that of the sheep or goat." 

There is at present a tribe in India who are noted for keeping a 
large breed of dogs, which are most efficient in the chase. These are 
the Lahanos or Brinjaras, who, by means of their pack cattle, per- 
form most of the inland carriage in the hilly central regions of the 
peninsula. I have met their caravans, and also their fixed habita- 
tions in the central provinces bordering western Bengal, where they 
are very numerous. This general region is the one where the Kyna- 
mologoi (or Kynokephaloi) may be presumed to have dwelt. In 
Orissa there is a Eajah of a petty state who keeps a very fine breed of 
dogs, by means of which deer are run down, especially, as I was told, 
during the rainy season, when the softness of the ground prevents 
them from running so fast as they are able to do at other times. There 
are similar breeds also in other parts of India. 

The " oxen" referred to were probably wild buffaloes, which still 
do much injury to the crops in some parts of India, and are a cause 
of terror to the natives. 

-^ Ecloga in Photii, Bibl. Ixxii. 

27 De Animal Nat., xvi. 31. Cf. Anc. India, by J.W. M'Crindle, p. 36. 

Ball — Identification of the Animah and Plants of India. 315 

8. Dolphin (AeX^t's). 
Platanista indi., Blyth. Belphinus (Sp. ?) 

^lian^ tells us that the " dolphins of India are reported to be of 
two sorts : one fierce, and armed with sharp-pointed teeth, which 
gives endless trouble to the fishermen, and is of a remorselessly cruel 
disposition ; while the other kind is naturally mild and tame, swims 
about in the friskiest way, and is quite like a fawning dog ; it does 
not run!! (sic in trans.) away when anyone tries to stroke it, and 
it takes with pleasure any food it is offered." 

The first of these is probably the Indus species of the very curious 
genus of river porpoise (Platanista) which is found in India. The 
jaws are provided with numerous conical, recurved teeth. These 
porpoises are very destructive to fish, and are occasionally accident- 
ally taken in nets. According to Jerdon,"^ they are speared by certain 
tribes of fishermen on the Ganges, who eat the flesh, and make oil 
from the blubber, which they use for burning. 

The other dolphin mentioned by -lElian may, perhaps, be iden- 
tified as a species of Pelphinus, which often keeps company with 
vessels for long distances, though probably its tameness is somewhat 
exaggerated for the sake of contrast. 

9. Whale (Ktjtos). 
Balanoptera indica, Blyth. — The Indian Fin- whale. 

^lian^" tells us that " whales are to be found in the Indian sea; 
they are five times larger than the largest elephant. A rib of this 
monstrous fish measures as much as twenty cubits, and its lip fifteen 
cubits." Further on, he states that it is "not true that they come 
near the shore lying in wait for tunnies." 

The rib, twenty cubits long, was probably really the ramus of a 
jaw, and the length given is therefore not excessive, since one in the 
Calcutta Museum, according to Jerdon,^^ from an individual eighty -four 
feet long, measured twenty-one feet ; and it is said that specimens 
measuring up to one hundred feet have been stranded on the Indian 
coast. Rami of the jaws of whales are even now not uncommonly mis- 
taken for ribs. 

Since the species of this genus of whales feed on fish, the state- 
ment which -^lian denies was probably to some extent founded on 
actual observation. 

^ Hist. Anim, xvi. 18. -^ Mammals of India, p. 159. 

^^ Hist. Anim., xvi 12. ^^ Mammals of India, jj. ICJl. 

316 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

10. The Elephant ('EXec^^as). 
Mephas indicus, Cuv. — The Indian Elephant. 

There are, as might be expected, numerous allusions to the Ele- 
phant by Megasthenes, Arrian, and the author of the Periplus. Its 
mode of capture is described, as also are its traiaing, its uses in the- 
chase and in war, its habits, and certain peculiarities of its constitution.. 
Some of these latter, as, for instance, those connected with the coming 
together of the sexes, are correct, though a myth in reference to 
this last exists even at the present day, and is very commonly believed 
by many. 

The elephants of Taprobane (t. e. Ceylon) are distinguished, ac- 
cording to JEAidio's account — derived perhaps from Megasthenes — 
as being larger, and more intelligent, than those of the mainland. 
The same author, too, describes a white elephant, and relates in 
reference to it a story of its devotion to its master. 

The author of the Periplus mentions several ports, both in Africa 
and India, whence elephas {i. e. ivory) was an article of export, as we 
know it had been since the days of Solomon. 

A very fair monograph of the habits and external characteristics 
of the elephant might be written from the facts recorded by the above 
authors, supplemented by such as are given by Strabo and Pliny. 

11. The Kaetazonon and the Indian Ass (Kapra^wvov, 


Rhinoceros indicus, Cuv. — The Rhinoceros. Genda, Hin. 

The Kartazonon of Megasthenes and the Homed Ass of Ktesias, 
although separately described by ^lian as if they were distract ani- 
mals, appear to be both capable of identification with the rhinoceros. 
This fact has been already more or less generally accepted by writers, 
although some particulars, especially those as to the colour, have 
given rise to much discussion and argument. It seems probable that 
the Pthinoceros was also the original of the monolceros, or unicorn, 
which, as we have good cause to know, is usually represented as an 
Homed Ass. JElian's^^ description of the Kartazonon is as follows : — 
" It is also said that there exists in India a one-horned animal, called 
by the natives the Kartazon. It is of the size of a full-grown horse, 
and has a crest and yellow hair soft as wool. It is furnished with 
very good legs, and is very fleet. Its legs are jointless, and formed 
like those of the elephant ; and it has a tail like a swine's. A horn 
sprouts out from between its eyebrows, and this is not straight, but 

32 Hist. Anim., xvi. 20, 21. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 317 

curved into the most natural wreaths, and is of a black colour. This 
horn is said to be extremely sharp. The animal, as I learn, has a 
voice beyond all example — loud, ringing, and dissonant." 

Phatios's^^account of the "horned wild ass" of Ktesias agrees, in the 
main particulars, with one by -^lian.^^ That by the former is as follows : 
" Among the Indians there are wild asses as large as horses, some 
being even larger. Their head is of a dark -red colour, their eyes blue, 
and the rest of their body white. They have a horn on their fore- 
head, a cubit in length (the filings of this horn, given in a potion, are 
an antidote to poisonous drugs). This horn, for about two palm- 
breadths upwards from the base, is of the purest white, where it tapers 
to a sharp point, of a flaming crimson, and in the middle is black. 
These horns are made into drinking-cups, and such as drink from them 
are attacked neither by convulsions nor by the sacred disease (epi- 
lepsy) ; nay, they are not even affected by poisons, if either before or 
after swallowing them they drink from these cups wine, water, or 
anything else. While other asses, moreover, whether wild or tame, 
and indeed all other solid-hoofed animals, have neither buckle bones 
{astragulus) nor gall in the liver, these one-horned asses have both. 
Their buckle bone is the most beautiful of all I have ever seen, and is 
in appearance and size like that of the ox. It is as heavy as lead, and 
of the colour of cinnabar, both on the surface and all throughout. It 
is an exceedingly fleet and strong animal, and no creature that pur- 
sues it, not even the horse, can overtake it," &c. 

Regarding the astragulus, or huckle-bone, the statement of its 
absence in solid-hoofed animals is incorrect, and I can offer no expla- 
nation of the reputed characteristics of that of the horned wild ass, ex- 
cept that an example seen by Ktesias had simply been dyed and weighted 
with lead. For short distances the rhinoceros can charge with great 
speed and force, and its voice is such as to merit to some extent the 
description by Megasthenes. 

In reference to the colours of the animal, when I recall that I have 
often seen in India horses with tails and manes of a bright magenta, 
and with spots of the same colour all over their otherwise white bodies ; 
that I have also seen elephants belonging to rajahs ornamented on 
their heads by the application of various pigments — 1 am led to con- 
clude that the rhinoceros from which Ktesias' s description was taken 
was a domesticated one which, in accordance with the natives' taste 
for bright colours, had been painted to take part in some pageant. 
Domesticated rhinoceroses are still kept by many natives ; and they 
have, I believe, sometimes been trained like elephants to cany how- 
dahs, with riders in them. I once met a native dealer in animals who 
had taken with him, for several hundred miles through tne jungles, 
a rhinoceros, which he ultimately sold to the rajah of Jaipur, in 

33 Ecloga in Photii, Bibl. Ixxii. 2.3 : Cf. Anc. India, by J. ^. M'Crindle. 
3^ Hist. Anim., iv. 52. 

318 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Madras. He drove the animal before him, he told me, " as if it were 
a cow." 

The horn of the rhinoceros is still held in much esteem by the 
natives of India, both for making into cups and for the preparation of 
a drug. They "will pay sportsmen a high price for these horns, but 
are particular about obtaining the right article, as I learned from a 
gentleman who, as a speculation, brought a number of rhinoceros 
horns from Africa, but failed to dispose of them in the Calcutta 

Having thus offered an explanation of what has hitherto been a 
difficulty to commentators, I should not be surprised if evidence should 
be forthcoming to prove that it has been the custom with the natives 
to adorn with coloured pigments the cuirass-like hides of tame rhi- 

Since the above paragraph was written, I have obtained sufficient 
confirmation of the correctness of this view, for, on turning to Eous- 
selet's work on the JSTative Coiu-ts of India,^° I find an account of a 
rhinoceros' fight at Baroda, which took place before the Gaikowar. 
The two animals were chained at opposite sides of the arena — one of 
them was painted hlack, the other red, in order that they might be dis- 
tinguished, for otherwise they resembled each other in every point. 

Ktesias' homed ass, therefore, had probably been whitewashed, 
and had had his horn painted blue and scarlet by his owner — who little 
foresaw what food for discussion and comment he was affording, by 
that simple act, to twenty centuries of philosophers and historians. 

12. Wild Hoeses a^td Asses ("iTTTrot koI qvol aypioi). 
J^quus onager, Pallas. — AVild Ass of Cutch, &c. 

According to ^lian^^ there are herds of wild horses and also of wild 
asses. " These interbreed, and the mules are of a reddish colour, and 
A^ery fleet, but impatient of the yoke and veiy skittish. They say that 
they catch these mules with foot-traps, and then take them to the king 
of the Prasians, and that if they are caught when two years old they 
do not refiTse to be broken in, but if caught when beyond that age they 
differ in no respect from sharp-toothed and carnivorous animals." 

The mention of both horses and asses is no doubt due to the some- 
what mule-like characters of the wild ass which is found in Western 
India, and is called Ghor-lchxir in Hindustani, and Ghour by the 
Persians. A closely allied species is the Kiang of Thibet. i^E. hemio- 
nus, Pallas.) Even now by travellers they are sometimes spoken of as 
wild horses, but their neigh or bray, and tail, prove them to be true asses. 
In the Bikaneer State, according to Dr. Jerdon, " once only in the year. 

-'' L'Inde des Eajahs. 

36 Hist. Anim., xvi. 9. Cf. Megastlienes, by J. W. M'Criudie, p. 163- 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 319 

when the foals are young, a party of fiveor six native hunters, mounted on 
hardy Sind mares, chase down as many foals as they succeed in tiring, 
which lie down when utterly fatigued, and suffer themselves to be 
bound and carried off. In general they refuse siistenance at first, and 
about one-third only of those which are taken are reared ; but these 
command high prices, and find a ready sale with the native princes. 
The profits are shared by the party, who do not attempt a second chase 
in the same year, lest they should scare the herd from the district, as 
these men regard the sale of a few Ghor-khurs annually as a regular 
source of subsistence."^'' 

13. The Pig f Ys). 

Sus indicus, Schinz. — Indian Wild Boar. 

Among statements by Ktesias which cannot be accepted, is the fol- 
lowing, as related by Photios :^^ — "India does not, however, produce 
the pig, either the tame sort or the wild." -ZElian in reproducing the 
same, adds that the "Indians so abhor the flesh of this animal that 
they would as soon taste human flesh as taste pork." Aristotle and 
Palladius also repeat the story of the absence of swine, which, if it had 
been true, would naturally suggest the inquiry how came the Indians 
to abhor the flesh, and, still more, how came the fact to be known ? 
It is notorious that certain tracts of India at the present day do not 
contain wild pigs, and also that several large sections of the people de- 
test the pig, and would not allow it to be kept in their villages. 
There are, however, some Hindus of high caste who will eat the flesh 
of the wild boar, and the Sind Emirs had pig preserves for purposes of 
sport. If other evidence were wanting that the pig is not a modern 
importation, and that the wild pig is noi feral, appeal may be made to 
the fossil remains of pigs found in the Sivalik hills to show that it be- 
longs to the ancestral fauna. Among some of the aboriginal and other 
tribes the keeping of pigs is, and probably always has been, a prevalent 
custom. Ancient Sanscrit writings would probably furnish evidence 
of the existence of pigs in India before the time of Ktesias. 

14. Sheep and Goats [Upo/Sara koL atyes.) 

Ovis et Capra. 

Both Photios^" and ^lian state that the sheep and goats of India 
are bigger than asses. The former adds that they produce from four 
to six young at a time, and the latter that they never produce less 
than three, but ;::enerally four. 

3' Mammals of India, p. 237. 

38 Cf. J. W. M'Crindle's Ancient India, pp. 17, 46, 47. 

39 Eclogain Photii, Bibl. Ixxii. 13. Cf. Ano. India, l)y J. Yr. M'Ciindle, p. 17. 

320 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

All these statemeiLts are "n'ith.out foundation, for, altliougli there- 
are large breeds of goats peculiar to certain parts of India, they never 
approach the ass in size, and the sheep are particularly small. -ZElian*" 
alludes to the largeness of the tails, those of the sheep reaching to their 
feet, and the tails of the goats almost touching the ground. There are 
breeds of large-tailed sheep in "W^estem India and Afghanistan called 
Duinbas, but I am unavrare of the existence of any breed of goats 
■which are remarkable in. this respect. However in India some 
of the sheep are very goat-like and the contrary is also trae. A wild 
goat of large size, said to be equal to an ordinary donkey, occurs in 
the western ghats and the jS'ilgiri hills. It is the Semitragus hylo- 
crius of Ogilbv. 

15. The Ageiobotjs ('AyptoySov?.) 
Poephagus grunnie^is, Linn. — The Yak. 

The above name is that given by Kosmas Indikopleustes, a monkish 
traveller of the seventh century, to an animal which is most probably 
the same as one described by^lian in the passage quoted below. Taking 
both of these accounts together, I do not hesitate to identify it with 
the Yak, which occurs not in India, but north of the Himalayan snow 
ranges. Yaks' tails are even at the present time a regular trade com- 
modity, brought into India through jS'epal and other frontier states^ 
and they are much used by Indian potentates for various decorative 
purposes, insignia, &c., and from them are also made the more humble 
fly- whisks carried by horsemen. 

^lian says^^ : — " There is found in India a graminivorous animal 
{irorjffidywv C^wv), which is double the size of a horse, and which has a 
very bushy tail, very black in colour. The hair of this tail is finer 
than human hair, and its possession is a point on which Indian women 
set great store, for therewith they make a charming coiffure, by binding 
and braiding it with locks of their own natural hair. The length 
of a hair is two cubits, and from a single root there spring out in the 
form of a fringe somewhere about thirty hairs." 

-Slian gives also a second and separate description of an animal 
shaped liked a satyr, covered all over with shaggy haii", and having a 
tail like a horse's. It was found in the mountains skirting the inland 
frontier of India, in a district called Korinda. ^Tien pursued it fled 
up the mountain sides, rolling down stones on its assailants. This, I 
think, was probably also the Yak. Compilers like ^lian have often 
mentioned the same object twice under different titles. " The animal 
itself is the most timid that is known, for should it perceive that any- 
one is looking at it, it stai'ts off at its utmost speed, and runs right for- 
ward ; but its eagerness to escape is greater than the rapidity of its 

w De Aniiual Nat., iv. 32. *i Hist. Anim., xvi. 21. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 321 

pace. It is hunted with horses and hounds, good to run. When it 
sees that it is on the point of being caught, it hides its tail in some 
near thicket, while it stands at bay, facing its pursuers, whom it 
watches narrowly. It even plucks up courage in a way, and thinks 
that since its tail is hid from view the hunters will not care to capture 
it, for it knows that its tail is the great object of attraction. But it 
finds this to be, of course, a vain delusion, for someone hits it with 
a poisoned dart, who then flays off the entire skin (for this is of 
value), and throws away the carcass, as the Indians make no use of 
any part of its flesh." *- 

Kosmas describes it as " an animal of great size, belonging to India, 
and from it is got what is called the toupha, wherewith the captains of 
armies decorate their horses and their standards when taking the field. 
They say of it that if its tail be caught by a tree, it no longer stoops, 
but remains standing through its unwillingness to lose even a single 
hair. On seeing this, the people of the neighbourhood approach and 
cut off the tail, and then the creature flies off when docked entirely of 
its tail. "^2 

16. The Phattages (<l>aTTay>7s). 
Manis pentadactyla, Linn (?) — The Pangolin. 

In Elian's elsewhere quoted account of the animals of India,** which, 
fi'om internal evidence, is considered by Schwanbeck, as pointed out by 
Mr. M'Crindle, to have been largely borrowed from Megasthenes, the 
following passage occurs: — 

"In India there is an animal closely resembling the land crocodile, 
and somewhere about the size of a little Maltese dog. It is covered all 
over with a scaly skin, so rough altogether, and so compact, that when 
flayed off it is used by the Indians as a file. It cuts through brass, and 
cuts iron. They call it the phattages^ It has been identified by Mr. 
M'Crindle with the pangolin, or scaly ant-eater. This identification 
may, perhaps, be correct ; but I must confess to some reluctance in 
accepting it, since the haja/r hit, as it is called in Sanscrit and Hindo- 
stani, seems scarcely to answer the description so well as would one of 
the land lizards, Varanus, or the water lizards, Hydrosaunis. In any 
case, the statement that the skins are used as a file capable of cutting 
metals must be regarded as apocryphal. The scales and fiesh are used 
medicinally by the natives, being supposed to possess aphrodisiac pro- 

« Hist. Anim., xri. IT. Cf. M'Crindle's Megasthcncs, p. 164. 

'^ Du jVIuiido, xi. 

** Hist. Anim., xvi. 6. Cf. M'Crindle's Megasthenes, p. 163. 

322 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 


17. The Eagle ('Actos) 

Aquila chrysaetus, Linn. — Golden Eagle. Called Birhut in E. Turke- 
stan ; Karaka&li, in Kashgaria. 

JElian*^ "writes, that "hares and foxes are hunted by the Indians in 
the manner following : — They do not require dogs for the purpose, but, 
taking the young of eagles, ravens, and of kites (or, as Lassen trans- 
lates it, eagles, crows, and vultures), they rear and train them to 
pursue these animals, by subjecting them to a course of instruction, as 
follows," &c. 

Lassen suggests that ^lian,^® by mistake, substituted vultures for 
falcons. This is probable, since no true vulture could, by any amount 
of training, be taught to catch either a hare or a fox, the structui'e of 
their feet and claws being unadapted for the purpose. But the doubt 
expressed by the same author, as to whether eagles can be so taught, 
has been quite set at rest by a quotation from Sir Joseph Fayrer, 
made by l&x. M'Crindle,*' to the effect that when the Prince of Wales 
visited Lahore there were among the people collected about the 
Government House some Afghans, with large eagles, trained to pull 
down deer and hares. They were perched on their wrists like hawks. 

It may be added, that the members of Sir Douglas Eorsyth's mission 
to Tarkand and Kashgar, in 1872-3, brought back full accounts of 
the employment of golden eagles for the same purpose in those 

Further, Dr. Scully, in a Paper entitled, "A Contribution to the 
Ornithology of Eastern Turkestan,"*^ speaking of the golden eagle, says : 
" The trained bird is very common in Eastern Turkestan, every gover- 
nor of a district usually having several. It is said to live and breed in 
the hills south of Yarkand, and near Khoten, where the young birds are 

caught, to be trained for purposes of falconry The trained 

karalcash is always kept hooded when it is indoors, except when about 
to be fed, and the method of carrying it to the chase is the following : 
The man who is to carry the eagle is mounted on a pony, and has his 
right hand and wrist protected by a thick gauntlet. A crutch, con- 
sisting of a straight piece of stick, carrying a curved piece of horn or 
wood — the concavity being directed upwards — is attached to the fi'ont 
of the saddle; the man grasps the cross piece of the crutch with his 
gloved hand, and the eagle then perches on his wrist," &c. 

•■5 Ancient India, p. 43. ^^ Loc. cit., p. 81. 

4' Zoo. cit., p. 97. ^^ Stray Feathers, vol. iv., 1876, p. 123. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 323 

18. The Bittakos oe Psittakos (BtTTaxos, vl/LTTaK6<s). 
Palceornis eupatrius, Linn. — P. Alexandria Auctorum. 

Ktesias" describes the /StrraKos as a bird which "has a tongue and 
voice like the human, is of the size of a hawk, has a red bill, is 
adorned with a beard of a black colour, while the neck is red like 
cinnabar ; it talks like a man, in Indian ; but if taught Greek, can talk in 
Greek also." This description serves to distinguish it from among the 
five or six species of parroquets which occur in India, and it may confi- 
dently be identified with the above-named species, which is the largest 
and most commonly domesticated of them all. 

^lian'" says he was informed that there were "three species of 
(jirraKo^ or ij/tTraKos, all of which, if taught to speak as childi'en are 
taught, become as talkative as children, and speak with a human voice ; 
but in the woods they utter a bird-like scream, and neither send out 
any distinct and musical note, nor, being wild and untaught, are able 
to talk." 

19. The Epops CEttoij/). 
PJupupa epops, Linn. — The Indian Hoopoe. 

The Indian hoopoe, according to ^lian,^^ "is reputed to be double 
the size of ours, and more beautiful in appearance ; and while, as Homer 
says, the bridle and trappings of a horse are the delight of a Hellenic 
king, this hoopoe is the favourite plaything of the king of the Indians, 
who carries it on his hand, and toys with it, and never tires gazing in 
ecstasy on its splendour, and the beauty with which nature has adorned 
it. The Brachmanes make this particular bird the subject of a mythic 
story," &c. 

The common hoopoe of Northern India is identical with the Euro- 
pean bird. In Southern India there is a nearly alKed, but smaller bird, 
U. nigripennis. There is, therefore, no foundation for JElian's state- 
ment that the Indian bird is double the size of the European, it being 
unlikely that any other bird could have been intended. 

It may be added, from Jerdon's " Birds of India," that " in cap- 
tivity it is said to be readily tamed, and to show great intelligence and 
susceptibility of attachment. Mussulmans venerate the hoopoe on 
account of their supposing it to have been a favourite bird of Solomon, 
who is said to have employed one as a messenger." 

*9 Ecloga in Photii, Bibl. Ixxii. Cf. M'Crindle's Ancient India, p. 7. 

^^ Hist. Anim., xvi. 1, 15. 

5' Hist. Anim., xvi. Cf. Megasthenes, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 159. 

■3'2i Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

20. The Keekion (KipKiov). 
JEulaies religiosa, Linn ; or E. intermedia, Hay. — The Hill Maina. 

By ^lian^^ we are told "there is another remarkable bird in India: 
it is the size of a starling, is parti-coloured, and is trained to utter 
the sounds of human speech. It is even more talkative than the 
parrot, and of greater natural cleverness. So far is it from submitting 
with pleasui-e to be fed by man, that it has rather such a pining for 
freedom, and such a longing to warble at will in the society of its 
mates, that it prefers starvation to slavery with sumptuous fare. It 
is called by the Makedonians, who settled among the Indians in the 
city of Boukephala and its neighbourhood, and in the city called Kuro- 
polis, and others, which Alexander the son of Philip built, the 
Jcerkion. This name had, I believe, its origin in the fact that the bird 
wags its tail in the same way as the water-ousels (ot Kiy«:Aot)." 

Jerdon gives as the Hindustani name of E. religiosa in Southern 
India, hokin maina, which may be compared with Icerhion. If this 
handsome and most accomplished musician and talker be not the bird 
referred to by -<S]lian, then I can only suggest some of the other less re- 
markable species of mainas [Acridotheres). 

21. Greeit-wixged Dove (IleXetas X'^wpo-rtA.os). 

Crocopus chlorig aster, Blyth. — Green Pigeon. 

The green pigeons of India, which fly in flocks, and feed upon fruit, 
are often a puzzle to strangers now, as they appear to have been to 
llegasthenes, or whatever other author it was from whom ^lian 
derived his information. He says :^^ " One who is not well versed in 
bird-lore, seeing these for the first time, would take them to be parrots 
and not pigeons. In the colour of the bill and legs they resemble 
Greek partridges." 

There are several species of green pigeons in India ; but the one 
mentioned above is the commonest, and has the widest distribution. 

22. Cocks of largest size ('AXc/crpvoVes /xeyto-rot). 

Lophophorus impeyanus. Lath. — Monal. 

The monal pheasant must, I think, have sat for the following de- 
scriptive portrait by ^Han,^* " There are also cocks which are of extra- 
s' Hist. Anim., xvi. 1. Cf. J. "W. M'Crindle. Megasthenes, p. 159. 
^'^ Hist. Anim., xvi. 1. 

51 Hist. Anim., xvi. 2. Cf. J. "W. M'Crindle. Megasthenes, p. 160 ; and 

Aiicient Tndia, p. 36. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 325 

ordinary size, and have their crests, not red, as elsewhere, or, at least, 
in our country, but have the flower-like coronals, of ivhich the crest is 
formed, variously coloured. Their rump feathers again are neither 
curved nor wreathed, but are of great breadth, and they trail them in 
the way peacocks trail their tails, when they neither strengthen nor 
erect them ; the feathers of these Indian cocks are in colour golden, and 
also dark blue, like the smaragdus." 

It is probable that monal pheasants, captured in the Himalayas, 
were brought into India for sale, and thus became known to the Greeks. 
The same bird is, I believe, referred to under the name Catreiis 
by Strabo,^^ where he quotes from Cleitarchus, and tells us that the 
bird was beautiful in appearance, had variegated plumage, and ap- 
proached the peacock in shape. A suggestion that this was a bird of 
paradise is therefore absurd, and is otherwise most improbable, since 
birds of paradise are found not in India but in New Guinea. With 
this also I am inclined to identify "the partridge larger than a vul- 
ture," which, as related by Strabo,^^ on the authority of Nicolaus 
Damascenus, was sent by Porus, with other presents, in charge of an 
embassy, to Augustus Csesar. 

23. The Kelas (K^Xa?). 
Leptoptilos argala, Linn. — The Adjutant. 

In the following passage from -lElian, we may, I think, recognise 
the adjutant : — " I learn further, that in India there is a bird which is 
thrice the size of the bustard, and has a bill of prodigious size, and long 
legs. It is furnished also with an immense crop, resembling a leather 
pouch. The cry which it utters is peculiarly discordant. The 
plumage is ash-coloured, except that the feathers, at their tips, are 
tinted with a pale yellow."" 

The pouch and long legs sufficiently identify this bird with the 
•well-known characters of the adjutant. 


24. ToETOISE (XeAcuVi;.) 

Trionyx, Sp. ? if a true river Tortoise. 

In reference to this animal, JElian^^ tells us that "it is found in 
India, where it lives in the rivers. It is of immense size, and it has a 

55 Geographica, XV. c. 1, § 69. '^ Geographica, xv. c. 1, § 73. 

*'' Hist. Anim., xvi. 4. ss Hist. Anim., xvi. 14. 

326 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

shell not smaller than a full-sized skiff (o-kcic^t/), which is capable of 
holding ten medinni (120 gallons) of pulse." 

I have not been able to find any account of the maximum sizes to 
which the shells of the Indian species of Trionyx attain, but I believe 
they do exceed four feet. Elian's account is too vague, and probably 
too much exaggerated, for any closer identification. There is a marine 
chelonian found in the Eay of Bengal, called Bermatochelys coriacea, 
the shell of which, according to Theobald, measures 66 inches over the 

It is difficult to suggest a name for the land tortoise, which ^lian 
describes as being the size of a clod of earth when turned by the plough 
in a yielding soil, as it might belong to several of the genera repre- 
sented in AVestern India. He states that "they are said to cast their 
shells," which is of course an impossibility. He concludes by saying 
" they are fat things, and their flesh is sweet, having nothing of the 
sharp flavour of the sea-tortoise." An exact identification of this 
animal, so superior to the turtle, should prove of interest to aldermen. 

25. The Seepent a Span Long ("0(^ts o-Trt^a/xtatos.) 
EuMepharis 8p. — Biscopra of the natives. 

Photios®^ and JElian''° describe, on the authority of Ktesias, a snake, 
which I feel unable to identify with any degree of certainty. The ac- 
count by the former is the more concise of the two, and is as follows : 
— " In India there is a serpent a span long, in appearance like the most 
beautiful purple, with a head perfectly white, but without any teeth. 
The creature is caught on those very hot mountains whose rivers yield 
the sardine-stone. It does not sting, but on whatever part of the body 
it casts its vomit, that place invariably putrifies. If suspended by the 
tail, it emits two kinds of poison — one like amber, which oozes from it 
while living, and the other black, which oozes from its carcass. Should 
about a sesami-seed's bulk of the former be administered to anyone, he dies 
the instant he swallows it, for his brain runs out through his nostrils. 
If the black sort be given it induces consumption, but operates so 
slowly that death scarcely ensues in less than a year's time." 

The lizard named above, the Biscopra of the natives, though tooth- 
less, is regarded as being very poisonous, and on this account I suggest, 
but with hesitation, that it may be the animal. It may, however, 
have been a true snake. 

26. The Skolex {^KwXrji). 

Crocodilus, vel Gavialis. — The Crocodile, or Garial. 
Several authors who have derived their information from Ktesias 
give accounts of the SIcolex. The most complete is that by ^lian^^ 

59 Kcloga in Photii, Bibl. Ixxii. 16. 

•=" Hist Anim., iv. 36. Of. Anc. India, by J. W. M'Ciindle, p. 48. 

61 De Nat. An., v. 3 ; C/. Anc. Ind., by J. W. M'Crindle, pp. 7, 23, 27, 56, 58. 

Ball — Identification of the Aitiiiials and Plants of India. 327 

as follows: — "The river Indus lias no living creature in it except, 
they say, the Sholex, a kind of worm, which to appearance is very like 
the worms that are generated and nurtured in trees. It differs, how- 
ever, in size, being in general seven cubits in length, and of such a 
thickness that a child of ten could scarcely clasp it round in his arms. 
It has a single tooth in each of its jaws quadrangular in shape, and 
above four- feet long. These teeth are so strong that they tear in 
pieces with ease whatever they clutch, be it a stone or be it a beast, 
whether wild or tame. In the daytime these worms remain hidden 
at the bottom of the river, wallowing with delight in its mud and 
sediment, but by night they come ashore in search of prey, and what- 
ever animal they pounce upon, horse, cow, or ass, they drag down to 
the bottom of the river where they devour it limb by limb, all except 
the entrails. Should they be pressed by hunger they come ashore even 
in the daytime ; and should a camel then, or a cow, come to the brink 
of the river to quench its thirst, they creep stealthly up to it, and with 
a violent spring, having secured their victim by fastening their fangs 
in its upper lip, they drag it by sheer force into the water, where they 
make a sumptuous repast of it. The hide of the Skolex is two finger- 
breadths thick. The natives have devised the following methods for 
catching it. To a hook of great strength and thickness they attach 
an iron chain, which they bind with a rope made of a broad piece of 
cotton. Then they wrap wool round the hook and the rope, to pre- 
vent them being gnawed through by the worm, and having baited the 
hook with a kid, the line is thereupon lowered into the stream. As 
many as thirty men, each of whom is equipped with a sword, and a spear 
(harpoon), fitted with a thong, hold on to the rope, having also stout 
cudgels lying ready to hand, in case it should be necessary to kill 
the monster with blows. As soon as it is hooked and swallows 
the bait, it is hauled ashore,- and dispatched by the fishermen, who 
suspend its carcass till it has been exposed to the heat of the sun for 
thirty days. An oil all this time oozes out from it, and falls by drops 
into earthen vessels. A single worm yields ten kotulai (about five 
pints). The vessels having been sealed up, the oil is despatched to 
the king of the Indians, for no one else is allowed to have so much as 
one drop of it. The rest of the carcass is useless. J^ow, this oil pos- 
sesses this singular virtue, that if you wish to burn to ashes a pile of 
any kind of wood, you have only to pour upon it half a pint of the oil, 
and it ignites without your applying a spark of fire to kindle it ; while 
if it is a man or a beast you want to burn, you pour out the oil, and in 
an instant the victim is consumed. By means of this oil also the king 
of the Indians, it is said, captures hostile cities without the help of 
rams or testudos, or other siege apparatus, for he has merely to set 
them on fire with the oil and they fall into his hands. How he pro- 
ceeds is this : Having filled with the oil a certain number of earthen 
vessels, which hold each about half a pint, he closes up their months 
and aims them at the uppermost parts of the gates, and if they strike 
them and break, the oil runs down the woodwork, wrapping it in flames 

R.I. A. PROC, VOL. If., SER II.— POL. LIT. AND ANTia. 2 

328 Proceedings of the Royal Iriah Academy. 

■whicli cannot be put ont, but with insatiable fury bum the enemy^ 
arms and all. The only way to smother and extinguish this fire 
is to cast rubbish into it. This account is given by Ktesias the 

As regards the Slcolex, I think we need not hesitate to identify it 
with the crocodile — the nature of the bait, a kid, used in its capture 
suffi.ciently proves that — in spite of the incorrect description of the- 
animal itself ; but although the oil of crocodiles is sometimes extracted 
and applied to various medicinal and other piu'poses by native fisher- 
men, the substance here described, and to which this origin was 
ascribed, was probably petroleum, the true source of which was not 
well understood, although Ktesias elsewhere refers to a lake upon the 
sui'face of which oil floated. 

As is pointed out on p. 333, the supposed product of the dikairon 
was probably Churnis (Indian hemp), so I would suggest that the 
Sholex oil was petroleum from the Punjab ^^ oil springs, where it ap- 
pears to have been well known and held in high esteem for its various 
properties since the earliest times. Ktesias's account confers upon it 
characteristics which were probably somewhat exaggerated. They may 
be compared with those of substances not unknown at the present day 
to persons of the Nihilist and similar fraternities. We have it on re- 
cord, however, that fire-balls, prepared with Punjab petroleum, were 
employed as missiles to frighten the war elephants of a Hindu king by 
a Mahomedan invader eight hundred years ago. In their accounts 
the Mahomedan historians make use .of a word signifying naphtha, so 
that gunpowder was not intended, as has sometimes been supposed.^^ 

"When canied as far as Persia, away from its source, it probably 
acquii'ed the mythical origin described by Ktesias ; and the account of 
the animal itself was so distorted that the Greeks did not recognize 
the same animal as the crocodile of the J^ile, which was of course 
known to them. At the same time it should be remembered that the 
Garial (not Gavial, as it is incorrectly called) occurs in the Indus, and 
would, no doubt, seem a strange animal even to people well acquainted 
with the crocodile of the Mle. 

Another mention of Indian crocodiles is to be found in the Peri- 
plus, where it is said that, when approaching the Sinthus («■'. e. Indus) 
river, "the sign by which voyagers, before sighting land, know that 
it is near, is their meeting with serpents (sea snakes) floating on the 
water; but higher up, and on the coasts of Persia the fust sign of land 
is seeing them of a different kiad, called graai " (Sansk., graha, a 
crocodile). ''^ 

«2 Cf. Economic Geol. of India, p. 126. 

63 See Jour. Soc. Aits, April 28, 1882, p. 595. 

6^ Cf. Periplus of the Erythrsan Sea, by J. TV. M'Crindle, p. 107. 

Ball — Identificafiou of the Aiiiuials and Phfiif-s of India. 329 

27. Seepent ("0<^t?). 
Python molurus, Linn. — The Python. 

Pliny^s ^g|]^g -^g -tjj^at, according to Megasthenes, "serpents in India 
gTow to such a size that they swallow stags and bulls whole." 

This is a somewhat exaggerated account of the capabilities of the 
Indian python, which is, however, sometimes thii'ty feet long, and three 
feet, or even more, in circumference. That it can kill and eat deer 
seems to be a well-attested fact, though how it would dispose of one 
with horns I cannot say. I kaow of one story recorded by an English- 
man,^^ where in Sambalpur the natives were in the habit of tethering 
goats near some rocks occupied by a monster snake, as an offering, 
which he very fi'eely accepted and disposed of. 

There is an account by Capt. E. A. Langley" of an encounter be- 
tween one of these snakes of the above dimensions and a sportsman, 
whose dog was first killed by the snake. After it had been shot, a dead 
deer was found, which it had been about to swallow when disturbed by 
the dog. 

The stories of monster snakes killing and eating homed cattle seem 
more than doubtful. 

28. ('0(f)L<s OaXdcrcTLo?). 
Hydrophis, Sp. (?) — Sea-snakes. 

The sea-snakes of the Indian seas are thus referred to by ^lian :^® 
"The Indian sea breeds sea-snakes, which have broad tails, and the 
lakes breed hych'as (crocodiles ?) of immense size ; but these sea- 
snakes appear to inflict a bite more sharp than poisonous." 

The species of Sydrophis have broad tails, as described by ^lian ; 
but he underrates the effects of their bite ; for although, as Mr. Theobald^^ 
states, "their fangs are small, their venom is extremely potent." 

They maybe seen swimming in numbers near some parts of the coast of 
the peninsula of India and the islands of the Bay of Bengal. I have taken 
them in a net towed fi^om the deck of a steamer ; and on one occasion, 
on the island of Preparis, I came upon an eagle ( Cuncuma leeooy aster) 
in the act of eating one ; quite a pile of snake bones being at the foot of 
what was evidently his favourite perch. 

Elian's hydras I cannot identify, unless they be crocodiles ; but 
these he elsewhere describes, under the name sJcolex. (See p. 326.) 

«3 Hist. Nat., viii. 14, 1. 

^^ Motte in Asiatic Annual Eegister, London, 1766. 

^'' aSTarrative of a Kesidence at the Court of Meer Ali Moorad. 

«8 Hist. Anim., xvi. 2, 8. Cf. Megasthenes, by J..W. M'Crindle, p. 163. 

*' Catalogue of Reptiles of British India, Appendix, p. 2. 

2 02 

330 Pi oceedings of the Royal Irish Academi/. 

Altlioiig-h I am not yet prepared to identify the fisli, crustaceans and 
mullusea, which are mentioned by our Greek authors, owing to the 
vag'ueness of the descriptions, I anticipate some success with them here- 
after, but am compelled to reserve that part of the subject for the 
present, and therefore pass now to the insects. 


29. HoxET (MeA.t). 
Apis dorsata (?) — Bees. Bonhra, Hin. 

Photios tells us, on the authority of Ktesias,™ that "there is a 
certain river flowing with honey out of a rock, like the one we have in 
our own country." 

I venture to think that this story may have possibly originated in 
the fact that the rocky gorges of many Indian rivers are the favourite 
haunts of wild bees. To those who know India, the famous marble 
rocks on the Narbada will suggest themselves; and all who have 
actually visited that remarkable gorge where the river is bounded by 
lofty cliffs of pure white marble, will remember the ladders which 
hang suspended from the summits, by which the honey-seekers descend 
to rob the combs. What more natural than that honey brought from 
such a spot should be made the object of a story like that related by 

Perhaps we may venture a step further, and suggest that the fol- 
lowing statement, by Strabo,''^ quoting from Megasthenes, had the same 
origin : — " Stones are dug up in India which are of the colour of frank- 
incense, and sweeter than figs or honey." But the probability of some 
form of sugar-candy, the true origin of which was then unknown, 
having given rise to this story, should not be forgotten {cf. p. 335). 

30. The Indiais]- MuEiiEx (Mvpp.rj^ 6 'Ii/8os). 

Termes, Sp. (?)— Termites, or White Ants. 

The termites, or white ants, as distinguished from the gold-digging 
ants, receive special attention at the hands of ^lian, whose account 
appears to have been derived from an author named lobas. He says : 
" Nor must we forget the Indian ant, which is so noted for its wisdom. 
The ants of our country do, no doubt, dig for themselves subterranean 
holes and burrows, and by boring provide themselves with lurking 

■io Ecloga in Photii, Bibl. Ixxii. 13 {koI ttoto/^Jv (pr\(nv iK irerpas peovra fji4\t). 
''1 Geographica, xv. c. 1, § 37. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 331 

places, and wear out all their strength, in what may be called mining 
operations, which are indescribably toilsome, and conducted with 
secrecy ; but the Indian ants construct for themselves a cluster of tiny 
dwelling-houses, seated, not on sloping or level grounds, where they 
could easily be inundated, but on steep and lofty eminences,"" &c., &c. 
The above with its context affords a good description of Indian white 
ants, or termites, which, unlike true ants, have soft, defenceless bodies, 
and have therefore to protect themselves by their earthworks. Besides 
constructing the well-known so-called ant-hills, they, when extending 
the range of their foraging grounds, protect every step of their progress 
by covered passages, built up of minute pellets of moistened clay. 

31. Elekteon ( HXeKT/30v) (©r^pta to //.eye^os oaov ycvotvTO aw ol 


Coccus lacca. — The Lac Insect, and its Products, Shell Lac and 

Lac Dye. 

None of the commentators on the ancient accounts of India appear to 
have suggested that the elehtron, to which reference is not unfrequently 
made, can be identified with a known production of India. Lassen, 
however, suggested that it was a gum exuding from trees. There are 
several points in the following descriptions which point with certainty 
to the fact that it was crude shell-lac, which is a secretion that sur- 
rounds the female lac insect, whose body forms the material of lac dye. 

Prom Photios's extracts, as given by Mr. M'Crindle,''^ we learn that, 
" Through India there flows a certain river, not of any great size, but 
only about two stadia in breadth, called in the Indian tongue, 
Hyparkhos {^Y-rrap^o^), which means in Greek, c^epwF iravra to. dyaOa 
(i. e. the bearer of all good things). This river, for thirty days in 
every year, floats down amber, for in the upper part of its course, where 
it flows among the mountains, there are said to be trees overhanging 
its current which for thirty days, at a particular season in every year, 
continue dropping tears like the almond tree, and the pine tree, and 
other trees. These tears, on dropping into the water, harden into gum. 
The Indian name for the tree is Siptahliora (2t7rTa;(opas),''* which means, 
when rendered into Greek, yXvKv<i {i. e. sweet). These trees, then, 
supply the Indians with their amber. And not only so, but they are 
said to yield berries, which grow in clusters like the grapes of the vine, 
and have stones as large as filbert nuts of Pontes." 

Further on we read : " In the same parts there is a wild insect, 
about the size of a beetle, red like cinnabar, with legs excessively long. 

'2 Hist. Anim., xvi. 15. Cf. Megasthenes, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 1G7. 

" Ancient India, by J. W. M'Crindle, pp. 20, 21. 

'* Aj)hytncora, according to Pliny, Nat. Hist., xxxvii. 11. 

332 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

It is soft as the worm called skolex, and is found on the trees which 
produce amber, eating the fruits of those trees, as in Greece the wood- 
louse ravages the vine-trees. The Indians grind these insects to a 
powder, and therewith dye such robes, tunics, and other vestments as 
they want to be of a purple hue." Speakiag of the race Kynokephaloi, 
they are said to " eat the fruit of the Siptahhora, the tree which pro- 
duces amber, for it is sweet. They also dry this fruit, and pack it in 
hampers, as the Greeks do raisins. The same people construct rafts, 
freight them with the hampers as well as with the flowers of the 
purple plant {vide p. 344), after cleansing it, and with 260 talents 
weight of the dried fruits, and a like weight of the pigment which dyes 
purple, and 1000 talents of amber. All this cargo, which is the 
season's produce, they convey annually as tribute to the king of the 

In spite of exaggeration, in the account above given of the red 
insects, I think they may be safely identified with the so-called lac in- 
sects, Coccus lacca. They cannot have been cochineal insects, as has been 
suggested, since they do not occur in India. The elektron was certainly 
shell-lac, as above stated. The Periplus mentions Acikkos ;)(p(o/xaTtT/os, 
colouredlac, as an export to Adouki from Ariake, which, whether it means 
the dye itself , or gaiments coloured by it, as has been suggested, sufficiently 
proves that the substance was known at that early time. The Sipta- 
hhora tree presents some difficulty, owing to its combining attributes 
belonging to two distinct trees, which, however, grow in the same 
region. The tree which most abundantly yields lac is the KJiusum — 
Schleichera trijuga. It is found on others too ; but not, so far as my ex- 
perience goes, on the MJiowa [JSassia latifolia), the dried flowers of which 
are brought down from the mountainous regions in baskets for sale in 
the plains. The flowers are used both as food and in the manufacture 
of a spirit, the well-known Mhowa spirit." It is possible that some 
of the confusion may have arisen from the fact that the Mhowa, like 
other trees belonging to the same natural order, does exude a gum. 
The fruit of the Khusum, though edible, is not so treated. The. fruits 
of the Mhowa include stones, and grow in clusters. 

These identifications, taken together with the statement of Pliny, that 
the Hyparkhos, or Hypobaros river flows into the Eastern Sea, enable us, 
I think, so far to localise it as to say, that it was one of those which rise 
in Western Bengal (orOrissa), and among them it may have been either 
the Damuda, the Dalkissar, Kossai, Brahmini, or Mahanadi. Possibly 
the old native names of these, which I cannot at the moment refer to, 
may help to elucidate the identification. 

As for the race called Kynokephaloi, they are subjects fit for 
separate examination, it being here sufficient to suggest that they were 
a Kolarian race. 

■"^ €f. Jungle Life in Ii.dia [passim). 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 333 

32. The Dikaieon (AtKatpov). 
Scaraiceus saeer, Linn. (?) — The Dung Beetle. 

Under the name DiJcairon, Ktesias described, according to Photios ^^ 
and ^lian," a bird ! of the size of a partridge's egg, which buried its 
dung in the earth. To this dung, which was said to be an object of 
search, the properties of an opiate and poison were attributed. It was 
so precious that it was included among the costly presents sent by the 
king of the Indians to the Persian monarch, and no one in Persia 
possessed any of it except the king and his mother. 

By the Greeks it was called StKatov (^. e. just), that being probably 
the nearest approximation of a known word to the Indian or Persian 
name. This so-called bird ! was, I believe, one of the Coprophagi of 
Latreille, namely, the common dung beetle called Golaronda in Hin- 
dustani, which buries pellets of cattle di'oppings as a receptacle for its 
eggs and food for the larvae when hatched. 

ScambcBus sacer. — Linn. 
I do not know whether these pellets are used medicinally, though 
it is not improbable that they are, but I strongly suspect that the 
■substance, described by Ktesias, to which he has attributed this origin 

Ecloga. in Photii, Bibl. Ixxii. 17. 

De A'at. All., iv. 41. 

334 Proceedings of the Royal Iruh Academy. 

was Churrus, a resinous product of Indian hemp {Cannabis sativa). 
It cannot have been opium, as it was not introduced into India tiU a 
later period. 

I remember when in the valley of the Indus being very much 
struck with the rapidity with which these scarabsei formed pellets from 
cattle droppings and rolled them across the sand to suitable spots for 
burying. The pellets are often larger than the beetles themselves, 
and the method of rolling them is curious, as the beetle goes back- 
wards, guiding the ball with his long hind legs and walking on the 
two pairs of fore-legs. 

The foregoing illustration, for which I am indebted to Messrs. 
Cassell & Co., though not representing this attitude, will aid the reader 
towards understanding the origin of this myth. 

It woiild not be difficult to give examples of almost as extravagant 
ideas of the origin of many of our drugs which were till recently 
accepted. There are some even to the present day the true source of 
which is unknown. 

The above may be compared with the suggestion on page 328, that 
the oil of the slcolex was in reality rock oil or petroleum from the 


It would be going beyond the special limits of this Paper to attempt 
any discussion as to the identity of plants mentioned by our authors, 
but not belonging to India. I should not possess in such an analysis 
the qualification which has been of so much aid to me with reference to 
the productions of India, namely, a, so to speak, personal acquaintance 
with them as they appear, and are regarded by the natives in the 
country itself. 

1. Rice {"Opvla). 

Oriza sativa, Linn. — Rice. — (Sansk. Virihi). 

In the Periplus, we are told that ori%a, which all agree was rice, 
was produced in Oraia and Araike, and was exported fi'om Barugaza 
to the Barbarine markets and the Island of Diskorides, i. e. Socotra. 

2. Honey feom Canes called Sugar (MeA.t to KaXdjxivov to Aeyo'/xevov 


Saccharum officinarum, Linn. — Sugar Cane, its product called Sarkara 
in Sanskrit, and Suhlcar by the Arabs. 

According to the Periplus it was exported from Barugaza (^. e. 
Bharoch), to the markets of Barbaria. 

Mr. M'Crindle's''® resume of the waitings of the ancients with regard 
to this substance is of such interest that I quote it verlatim here : 

•^ Periplus of the Ei ytlrican Sea, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 23. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 335 

" The first Tvestern writer who mentions this substance is Theophrastos, 
who continued the hibours of Aristotle in Natural History. He called 
it a sort of honey extracted fi'om reeds. Strabo states, on the authority 
of iN'earkhos that reeds in India yield honey without bees. TRlinn 
{Hist. Anim.) speaks of a kiad of honey pressed from reeds which 
grew among the Prasi. Seneca (Epist. 84) speaks of sugar as a kind 
of honey found in India on the leaves of reeds, which had either been 
dropped on them from the sky as dew, or had exuded from the reeds 
themselves. This was a prevalent error in ancient times, e. g. Disko- 
rides says that sugar is a kind of concreted honey found upon canes in 
India and Arabia Felix ; and Pliny, that it is collected fi'om canes 
like a gum. He describes it as white, and brittle between the teeth, 
of the size of a hazel nut at most, and used in medicine only. So also 
Lucian, alluding to the Indians near the Ganges, says that they quaff 
sweet gums fi'om tender reeds." 

. It has been conjectured that the sugar described by Pliay and Dios- 
korides was sugar-candy obtained fi'om China." See page 330, where 
I have suggested that this was the origin of the " stones sweeter than 
figs or honey," which were supposed to have been dug out of the earth. 

3. <I>Aoto5. 

Papyrus pangorei, Nees. (?) — Papyrus Reed. 

According to Herodotus''^ "the Indians wear garments (icr6r]Te'i 
<jf)AotVat) made from a plant which grows in the rivers. Having col- 
lected and beaten it, they interweave it in the form of a mat, and they 
clothe themselves with it after the manner of a cuirass." 

The above-named species of papyrus is commonly used for weaving 
into mats, and is sometimes used by fishermen as a protection for their 
bodies from wet and cold. In some respects the description would 
suit either hemp {Cannalis sativa. Linn.) or jute [Corchorus cap)S%daris, 
Linn.) ; but on the whole I cannot accept that it was the fibre of either 
of these to which Herodotus refers, especially as regards hemp, since 
he elsewhere^" describes its use by the Skythians, and compares its 
qualities with those of flax. 

If not the papyrus, it was probably one of the other species of 
marsh plants^^ of which mats are made in India at the present day. 
" The luxuriance of the grasses and reeds in Sind," says Captain 
Langley,^^ " especially near the Indus, surpasses anything I ever saw 
elsewhere. The reed known as hana grows to an immense height, is 
notched like the bamboo, and has a beautiful feathery head. This 
reed is invaluable to the Sindians for huts, mats, baskets, chairs, &c. 

'^ Phalie, tii. cap. xcviii. 8" Plialio, iit. cap. ccii., & iv. cnps. Ixxiv., Ixxv. 

^^ Snfcharum mra. Eoxb., aiid S. uporiianvinn. Linn., &c. kc. 

®- Narrative of a llesidente at the Court of Mcer Ali Moorad, vol. i. p. -7'). 

336 Proceedings of the Royed Irish Amclemy. 

It grows in large tufts, and vast tracts are covered with it between 
Khyrpur and the river." This liana [TypJia elepJiantina, Roxb.) could 
certaiiily not have been the plant from which canoes were made, as has 
been suggested by some of the critics. 

For purposes of mere flotation it is used by fisheiTaen and others 
when dried and tied in bundles, but the suggestion that the boats 
capable of holding several persons, mentioned by Herodotus, were made 
of it, is obviously absiu"d. 

4. The Ijtdiak Reed (KaXa/A05 'IfSikos). 
Borassus flalelliformis, Linn. — The Palmp-a Palm. 

It appears to have been calmly accepted by commentators that " the 
Indian reed," referred to by Grecian and Latin authors, was the same as 
the plant to which we give the name bamboo. So far as I have read 
their writings, excepting the alternatives mentioned below, I have not 
met with any suggestion that this identification is incorrect.*^ To 
show in the first place that it is so, and secondly to name a plant which 
fulfils the required conditions, is however not difiicult. 

The facts that the bamboo does not attain more than about one- 
third of the size of the so-called reed ; that it could not, therefore, have 
been used for the purposes for which the Indian reed is said to have 
been employed, and the absence of the larger kinds of bamboo from the 
region of the lower Indus valley, all combine to prove that the above 
identification of the commentators must be rejected. 

The more important among the numerous references to the Indian 
reed are the following : — Herodotus®'^ speaks of the inhabitants of the 
marshes, which are formed by the flooding of rivers in India, as fishing 
from canoes formed of canes, which are cut fi'om node to node, each 
segment forming a boat. Pliny*^ gives a similar account, and says 
that these boats traverse the Accesines («'. e. Chenab river). So also 
Diodorus Siculus,^^ who has written to the following effect: — "In 
India the lands bordering rivers and marshes yield reeds of prodigious 
size. It is all that a man can do to embrace one. Canoes are made 
from them." 

Ktesias's account, as given by Photios,^' is that the Indian reed grows 
along the coui'se of the Indus, and that it is " so thick that two men 
could scarcely encompass its stem with their anns, and of a height 
equal to that of a mast of a merchant ship of the heaviest burden. 
Some are of a greater size even than this, though some are of less, as 
might be expected, since the mountain it grows on is of vast range. 

^^ Sprengel includes the rattan, Calamus rotang, in his identification. This is, if 
possible, a plant still more unsuited to the requirements of the case. 

^^ Thalie, book in., xcvui. 

*5 Hist. Xat., lib. vit., cap. ii., torn, i, p. 372, line 22 ; and lib. xti., cap. xxxvii. 
torn, ii., p. 27, line 32. 

86 Bibl., lib. II., §xvii.,p. 132. 

8' Cf. Ancient India, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 10. 

JBall — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 337 

The reeds are distingmshed by sex, some being male and others female. 
The male reed has no pith and is exceedingly strong, but the female 
has a pith."®^ Tzetes,^^ Theophrastus,^" and Strabo^^ are other anthers 
who treat of this subject. I have on the preceding page given an account 
of the ha7ia reed {^Typlia elepliantina, Eoxb.), which has been suggested 
as an alternative with the bamboo by Lassen ; but although, as stated, 
bundles of its slender stalks, when dried, are used for mere piu'poses of 
flotation on the Indus, it cannot have been made into canoes. 

Statements made by Lassen and Sprengel, that the bamboo some- 
times has a diameter of two feet, are quite incorrect. Nine inches is an 
extreme and very exceptional limit, ^- and as the larger species of bamboo 
do not occur near the Indus, on accoimt of their only floiuishing in moist 
tropical climates, we must look to some other tree as having furnished, 
when the stem was split, almost ready-made boats capable of holding 
several people. At the present day, excluding timber clug-outs, made of 
Bomlax, &c., the only trees so employed are palms; and among the 
species so used, namely the cocoanut, the date-palm, and the palmyra, 
{JSorassusfiabeUiformis,'Luni.), I should be inclined to give the preference 
to the latter, as it is cultivated in Lower Sind. The diameter of a full- 
grown tree is from 18 to 24 inches, or the circumference is, say, six feet 
at the base ; the height is from 40 to 60 feet, and in favourable locali- 
ties, as in BtuTna, 100 feet. Canoes, capable of holding two or three 
people, are made from the stems of this palm in many parts of India at 
the present day. It is noteworthy, moreover, that the Sanscrit name is 
Trinaraja, i.e. king of the gi'asses or reeds. The Phoenix dactylifera, or 
date-palm, which is now the common palm in the Indus valley, at- 
tains a height of 100 to 120 feet, and the trunks of male trees are, I 
believe, used for canoes; hut if, as is stated by Brandis,^^ it was only 
introduced into Sind in the eighth century, it cannot have been the 
tree mentioned by our ancient authors. 

5. The jS'AtrpLrcrs (NawXios). 

Cocos nucifera. — The Indian Cocoanut 

Under the name NaupKus, which Miiller suggests, as stated by Mr. 
M'Crindle, is a mistake for i/apytAtos (the Arabian narigil, or Sanskrit 
ndrikela), the author of the Periplus,^^ refers to the cocoanut, while 
Kosmas^^ gives a very good description of it, under the name argellia, 
evidently a transliteration of the native name minus the initial n. 

88 Cf. Ancient India, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 10. 

89 Chil. vii., Y. 739, from third book of ' Kpa^iKwv of XJranius. 

90 Plant Hist., ix. 11. 

91 Ibid. XV. 21. 

92 Brandis' Forest Flora, p. 554, gives for the stems of Bambusa arinidriancca, 
Retz, diameters varjingfrom foiir to nine iaches. 

93 Forest Florn, p. 5o3. 

91 The Eiythnran Sea, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 26. 
^■'Ancient India, p. 95. 

338 Proceedings of the Roijal Irish Academy. 

6. The Pakebon Tree {Hdprj/Sov). 
Ficus religiosa, Linn. — The Pipal, Hin. 

The parelon tree, as described by Ktesias, according to Photios,^* 
was "a plant about the size of the olive, found only in the royal 
gardens, producing neither flower nor fruit, but having merely fifteen 
roots, which grow down into the earth, and are of considerable thick- 
ness, the very slenderest being as thick as one's arm. If a span's length 
of this root be taken it attracts to itself all objects brought near it 
(irdvra eXKet tt/dos iavrrjv), gold, silver, and copper, and all things except 
amber. If, however, a cubit's length of it be taken, it attracts lambs 
and birds, and it is, in fact, with this root that most kinds of birds are 
caught. Should you wish to turn water solid, even a whole gallon of 
it, you have but to throw into it but an obol's weight of this root, and 
the thing is done. Its effect is the same upon wine, which, when con- 
densed by it, can be held in your hand like a piece of wax, though it 
melts the next day. It is found beneficial in the cure of bowel dis- 

My reasons for identifying the above with the pipal tree {Ficus 
religiosa) are as follow : — Though of common occurrence in the moist 
tropical parts of India, it is seldom found except where cultivated in 
gardens and plantations in the Punjab and the arp.d tracts of Northern 
India generally, where, as it does not flourish, it is probably not often 
larger than a well-grown olive tree. 

Its small figs are inconspicuous, scarcely exceeding the larger 
varieties of peas in size, so that it might easily have been supposed to 
have had neither flowers nor fruit. Its roots sometimes clasp other 
trees in their embrace, and they are generally visible at the surface of 
the ground for some distance away from the trunk. There is no limit, 
however, to their number. 

Being regarded as sacred by the Hindus, offerings of various 
emblems and idols are often to be seen placed round the trunk; in some 
cases ancient stone implements and other stones of curious and gro- 
tesque shapes may be observed thus collected around it. In these facts 
I would suggest that the mjt\i as to the attractive power of the roots, 
or, as ApoUonius has it, the tree itself, for metals and stones, may very 
probably have originated. 

Its "attractive " power for birds and other animals is very readily 
explained, since from the glutinous juice which exudes from the stem 
bii'd-lime is commonly made; and it maybe that the "attraction" 
for metals, &c., merely adheres to some adhesive substance prepared 
from this juice. The effects of the fresh juice when dropped into 
water or wine might possibly bej to thicken them, but perhaps not to 

S6 Ecloga in Pliotii, Bibl. Ixxii. Cf. Ancient India, by J. W. M'Crincr.e, p. 20. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 339 

the extent stated by Ktesias. As to the medicinal properties, the seeds 
are believed to be cooling and alterative, and the leaves and yonng shoots 
are used as a purgative. 

To the above, which constitute strong reasons in favour of this 
identification, there may be added, that although at first sight the name 
jpipal presents no very close resemblance to parelon, still, when written 
as it is often pronounced, peepmi, the I being replaced by n, it is not 
difficult to understand how the sound may have suggested to the ear of 
the Greek writer a combiaation of letters which he represented by 

7. Trees BEAHING Wool {to. Se SevSpea to. aypta avToOt <^epet 
KapTTOV icpLo). 

Gossyjjium indicum, Lam.- — Cotton Tree. 

!N'o claim can be made here for originality in identifying with cot- 
ton the substance mentioned in the following extracts. It is an iden- 
tification about which commentators are agreed. It is only mentioned 
here on account of some special points of interest connected with it ; 
but it might have been omitted for the same reason that so many other 
substances have been, namely, that their identity is not doubtful, 

Herodotus" says : '^ One sees, besides, wild trees which, iastead of 
fruit, carry a species of wool more beautiful and better than that of 
the sheep. The Indians dress themselves with the wool which they 
collect from these trees." 

Ktesias, as related by several of his commentators, refers to the trees 
in India which bear wool. 

Arrian, quoting from !N"earchos, also refers to this product, which, 
in its woven state, was new to the Greeks who went to India ia the 
army of Alexander. 

A cotton from stones, mentioned by some early authors, appears to 
have been asbestos, as I have elsewhere suggested. ^^ 

The KcxpTracros, mentioned in the Periplus as an export from Ariake 
to Egypt, was the Sanscrit Mrpdsa, signifying fine muslin. The name 
survives in the modem Hiadustani word kapas, cotton. 

8. The Siptakhoka Teee (StTrraxopas). 

Schleicher a tnjuffa,Wild, and Bassia latifolia, Eoxb. 

In the account of yjkeKrpov, on page 331, the identification of the 
Siptalchora has, by anticipation, been already suggested. It appears to 
combine the characteristics of two trees which are found in the same 
tract of country. The Khusum tree {SchUichera trijuga) was probably 

°" Thalie, lib. in. c. cvi. 

38 Proceedings, Eoyal Dublin Society, 1883, p. 83. 

340 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

the tree wMcIl yielded tlie shell-lac, and it seems to have been confused 
with the mhoiva {Bassia latifolia), since from the latter there exudes a 
gum without the aid of lac insects. It may, I think, be accepted as 
almost certain that the so-called diied fruits were, as has been ex- 
plained, the dried flowers of the mliowa, which are at the present time 
largely used as an article of food, and for the extraction of an in- 
toxicatiag spirit by distillation. Both trees are found together in 
the same jungles. 

9. LTcrcir (Ai'/ctov). 
Berieris tinctoria, D. C, and B. lyciiim, Eoyle. 

This substance, which, according to the Periplus,^' was exported 
from Barbaiikon (•?'. e. a town on the Indus, in Indo-skythia), ancl from 
Barugaza, i. e. Bharoch, was a plant whose roots yielded a dye, and 
the extract medicine. 

It has ali'eady been identified, as pointed out by ITr. !M'Crindle,-'°* 
with the rusot of the natiTes, which is prepared fi'om the two species 
of BerbeiTy named above. The fixst of them, B. tinctoria, is found both 
ill the Himalayas and the mountains of Southern India and Ceylon ; 
but the other species is only known fi"om the Himalayas.^"^ 

10. BnELLir^i (Boe'XXa, or BSeAAtov). 
Balsamodenclron muhul, Hooker. Called Gugal in Siad. 

It appears to be generally admitted now, that this is the species of 
tree which yielded the gum-resin known to the ancients as Bdellium, 
and which, according to the author of the Periplus, was exported from 
Barbaiikon on the Indus, and fi'om Barugaza. 

Dr. Stocks has described the collection of Indian Bdellium as fol- 
lows^^^ : — " In Sind the Gif,gal is collected in the cold season by making 
incisions with a knife in the tree, and letting the resin fall on the 
ground. It exudes in large tears soft and opaque, haixlens and turns 
brownish black very slowly, a single tree is said to yield from one to 
two pounds weight. It is brought to the bazaars of Hyderabad and 
Karachi, where it sells at the rate of four shillings for 80lbs. ^ 

The Bdellium of Scripture was, it is supposed, a siliceous mineral 
allied to onyx. 

99 The Periplus of the ErytkrfEan Sea, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 22. 

100 Loc. cit. 

101 Cf. Forest Flora, by D. Brandis, p. 22. 

102 Cf. Forest Flora, by D. Brandis, p. 14. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 341 

11. Pepper (neVept). 
Piper nigrum, Linn. — Black Pepper (Sansk., pippah). 

Mr. M'Crindle's note on this subject, when referring to the 
mention of it in the Periplus, is as follows : — " Kottonarik pepper ex- 
ported in large quantities from Mouziris and ISTilkunda ; long pepper 
from Barugaza. Kottonara was the name of the district, and Kotto- 
narikon the name of the pepper for which the district was famous. 
Dr. Buchanan identifies Kottonara with Kadattanadu, a district ia 
the Calicut country celebrated for its pepper. Dr. Bumell, however, 
identifies it with Kolatta nadu, the district about Tellicherry, which, 
he says, is the pepper district." 

Malabar continues to produce the best pepper in the world ; but 
Sumatra and other islands cultivate and export largely. 

The pepper vine is planted near trees which it ascends to the height 
of 20 or 30 feet. The berries, which are collected before being quite 
ripe, are ^dried in the sun ; white pepper only differs from black by 
having the outer skin removed, for which purpose the berries are first 

12. Malabatheum (MaXd/3a6pov). 

Cinnamomum tamcda, Nees, and Dalchini, Hin. 

The leaves of this tree, which are known to the natives of India as 
te%pat or tajpat, appear to be indentical with the Malabathrum of the 
Greeks. It was obtained by the Thinai from the Sesatai, and exported 
to India, conveyed down the Ganges to Gauge, near its mouth ; and it 
was also brought from the interior of India to Mouziris and Nelkunda 
for export. 

Mr. M'Crindle ^°^ who seems to regard it as identical with betel 
{Chavica letel, Mig.), from which, however, it is quite distinct, men- 
tions that according to Ptolemy (vii. ii., 16), the best varieties of 
Malabathrum came from Kii'rhadia — that is to say, Rangpur in Eastern 
Bengal. The description given in the Periplus of how the Malaba- 
thrum was prepared by the Thinai (Chiaese ?), from leaves which 
were used by the Sesatai to wrap up the goods which they brought to 
market, is very curious, and refer to some custom of an Assamese 
tribe, which is still probably capable of illustration and elucidation. 
All the indications of position point to the mountainous regions in- 
cluded in and surrounding Assam as the home of the Malabathrum, and 
there in fact the above-named tree abounds, extending westwards to 
the Sutlej, and sparingly to the Indus ; and eastwards to Burma. 
It is also found in Queensland, Australia. 

1(13 Qj^ Periplus of tlie Erythraean Sea, pp. 23, 25. 

542 Proceedings of the Royal Iriah Academy. 

13. The Kaepiox Teee {YLapiriov). 
Laurus {Cinnamomum) Sp.{?) Pandanus odoratissimus (?) 

Ktesias's description of this tree, according to Photios,^"* is as follows : 
" But again there are certain trees in India as tall as the cedar or the 
cypress, having leaves like those of the date palm, only somewhat 
broader, but having no shoots sprouting from the stems. They pro- 
duce a flower like the male laurel, but no fruit. In the Indian 
language they are called fxvpovSa, i. e. unguent roses. These trees are 
scarce. There oozes from them an oil which is wiped off from the 
stem with wool, fi'om which it is afterwards wrung out and received 
into alabaster boxes of stone." 

The nature of this tree has been much discussed. In some respects 
the description suits the Pandmius, the flowers of which yield, on dis- 
tillation, a fragrant oil which is called Keora by the natives, and in 
these particulars, especially its palm-like habit, it corresponds least well 
with the characteristics of the cinnamon. Mr. M'Crindle's arguments 
in favour of its identification with the latter are of considerable 
cogency, though certainly not conclusive. He says: " I have little 
doubt that the Sanskrit Karpttra, Camphor, is substantially the same 
as the Tamil -Malayalim Karuppu (oil of cinnamon), and Xtesias' 
KapTTLov, seeing that it does not seem to have any root in Sanskrit, 
and that camphor and ciunamon are nearly related. The camphor of 
commerce is obtained from a species of laru-el (Laurus camphora, 
Nees.)," but this tree is not found in India, and it is believed that 
camphor itself was not known to the Greeks. Altogether it may be 
doubted whether a complete solution of the difficulty can be obtained. 
It is probable, however, that Ktesias jumbled together the charac- 
teristics of some species of Paurus with those of the screw pine (Pandanus 

14. Cassia (Kao-o-ta). 
Laurus cassia,^°° Eoxb., &c. 

The term cassia appears to have been applied to different substances 
by the ancients, ten varieties are mentioned in the Periplus. They 
were producedc hiefly from different species of Cinnamomum, but other 
plants wholly unallied to the laurel family may, it is thought by some 
authors, have contributed aromatic substances which were included in 
the same general denomination. As this subject has been dealt with 
by most commentators, more need not be said of it here. 

10* Ecloga in Photii, Bib!. Ixxii. 28. 

1"^ According to some authorities this is only a synonym for J. tiunala. 

Ball — Identifieation oj the Animals and Plants of India. 343 

15. ISTDICTJII ('ivStKOV jJiiXav). 

Indigofera tinctoria, Linn. — Indigo. Nili^ Sansk. Nil, Hin., &c. 

Among the exports from the Skythic port of Barbarikon, on one of the 
mouths of the Indus, the above substance is enumerated in the Periplus, 
upon which Mr. M'CriQdle'"" remarks : — "It appears pretty certaia 
that the culture of the indigo plant and the preparation of the di-ug 
have been practised in India from a very remote epoch. It has been 
questioned, indeed, whether the Indicum mentioned by Pliny (xxxv. 6) 
was indigo, but, as it would seem, without any good reason. He states 
that it was brought from India, and that when diluted it producd an 
admirable mixture of blue and purple colours. The dye was introduced 
into Rome only a little before Pliny's time." 

It is stated that as late as the close of the 16th century it was not 
known in Europe what plant produced indigo, although its preparation 
at Lisbon was described by Marco Polo. As is well known, it has 
hitherto been a most important product from British India, but the in- 
troduction of an artificial indigo renders it probable that the trade of 
the indigo planter is destined to become extinct ere long. 

16. A TbEE HAVIlfG BEAIf-LIKE PoDS (AeVSpov Aottous '^XOv'). 

Cassia fistula, Linn. Amultas, Hin. Suvarna, Sansk. 

According to Strabo,^"'' Aristobulas mentions "a tree, not large, bear- 
ing great pods, like the bean, ten fingers iu length, full of honey, and 
says that those who eat it do not easily escape with life." 

The above description suggests the pods of the Cassia fistula, which 
are sometimes two feet long. They include, besides the seeds, a sweet 
mucilaginous pulp, which, however, is not poisonous, but is regarded 
as a valuable laxative, the seeds may be noxious. Possibly the pulp, if 
taken in quantity, might produce disagreeable effects. 

17. JS'aedos (NapSos). 
Nardostachys jatamansi, Jones — Spikenard. 

From the Periplus we learn that gangetic nard or spikenard was 
brought down the Ganges to Gauge, near its mouth, and was forwarded 
thence to Mouziris and JS'elkunda. Spikenard, which was obtained in 
the regions of the upper Indus and in Indo-Skythia, was forwarded 
through Ozene (Ujeia) to Barugaza (Bharoch), and was thence exported 
to Egypt. 

The true origin of this aromatic drug was first discovered by Sir W. 
Jones/"^ who was followed in its investigation by Roxburgh ^"^ and Royle.'^" 

106 The Erythraean Sea, p. 17. i" B xv.. C 1, § 21. los As. Ees., ii. p. 405. 
109 As. Res'., iv. p. 109. ' "o must., p. 243. 


344 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

They deterrm'ned it to be the root of a plant named as above, ■whicli 
belongs to the Valerian family. 

It is obtained in the higher regions of the Himalayas, and is brought 
down for sale in considerable quantities, being mnch esteemed by the 
people of Oriental nations generally on acconnt of its strong fragrance. 
It is called samial in Hindi, and lalchiir in Hindustani. 

18. The PrErLE Flowee (*Ai/^os Tropcfivpovv). 
Grislea tomentosa, Eoxb. The DJiaura, Hin. 

Among Photios's extracts fi'om Ktesias^'^ there occurs the foUomng 
passage: — " jN^ear the source of the Hyparthos there grows a certain 
purple flower, which is used for dyeing purple, and is not inferior to 
the Greek sort, but even imparts a more florid hue." 

I am inclined to recognize in this description the flowers of the 
Bhatira tree (Sanscrit, Dliatri puslipiJca, or Agni-vala, i. e. flame of 
fire), which was named Grislea tomentosa by Poxbui-gh."^ 

It wtII be seen by reference to any of the Indian ^or«s that the 
flowers of this wild jungle-shrub are largely used as a dye. Thus 
Brandis says they are collected in the jS"orth-west, and exported to the 
Punjab for dyeing silks; and Druiy, that "in Kandeish, where the 
plant gi'ows abundantly, they form a considerable article of commerce 
inland as a dye." 

I have often seen baskets-full of the dried flowers exposed for sale 
at the fairs in. Chutia jS^agpuT, together with crude shelL-lac, i. e. in 
the same general region as that in which the Hyparkhos river was 
probably situated. The petals being minute, it is the coloured sepals 
which actually afford the dye. 

19. Ore OE SESAilE ("EXatoi/ a-qa-dfiLvov). 

Sesamum indicum, Linn. Gingely Oil, Eng. Yelloo cJieddie, Tamil. 

Til, Beng. 

This is one of the most valuable oil-yielding plants in India. Both 
seeds and oil are still largely exported from India, as they were, or at 
any rate the latter was, according to the Periplus,"^ from Barugaza {i. e. 
Bharoch), it having been brought there from the region in the Ifarbada 
valley, then known as Ariake. 

It is much cultivated in India and Egypt, and has found its way 
even to the West Indies. The seed contains about forty-five per cent, 
of oil, which is, when carefully extracted, of a pale yellow colour. It 
has a sweet smell, and is one of the best substitutes for olive oil. 

111 Cf. Ancient India, ty J. W. M'Crindle, p. 22. 

11^ According to Brandis the proper name is Woodfordia Jloribunda, Salis. 

112 Cf. Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, by J. T7. M'Crindle, p. 17. 

Ball — Identification of the Animals and Plants of India. 345 

20. KosTus (KocTTos). 
Aucklandia costus, Falconer. Sansk., Kushta. 

According to the author of the Periplus, hostos was exported from 
Barbarikon, at the mouth of the Indus, and from Barugaza, it 
having come fi'om Kabul, through Proklais,"* &c. 

Much doubt existed as to the identity of this drug, till it was ascer- 
tained by Dr. Falconer to be the root of the above-named plant, which 
belongs to the order AsteracecB. It inhabits the moist open slopes 
surrounding the valley of Kashmir, at an elevation of 8000 or 9000 
feet above sea level. 

The roots have a strong aromatic pungent odour, and are largely 
employed on account of their supposed aphrodisiac properties. 

Considerable quantities, under the name putchyk, are still exported 
from Calcutta to Chiaa — or were some years ago ; but it is possible the 
route from Lahore, whence they were brought to that port, has now been 
changed in favour of Bombay or Karachi. In China it is used in the 
manufacture of incense. Two varieties are distinguished by their 
colours and qualities. 

21. Marine Teees. 
Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Lam. — Mangroves. Kakra, Beng. 

According to a passage in Antigonus, we leaiji that Megasthenes, in 
his Indiha, mentioned that trees grow in the Indian seas. 

These were doubtless mangroves, which flourish in Sind, ia the 
estuaries of the Indus, as well as on various parts of the coast of the 
peninsula, and the islands of the Bay of Bengal, spreading thence to 
the Northern parts of Australia. As is well known, mangroves grow 
below high-water mark, and, with theii' stems supported above ground 
by numerous roots, they present a siagular appearance — one sure to 
attract the attention of European travellers in India. 

Pliny's accounts of marine trees may possibly include the man- 
grove, but they are somewhat vague ; they seem to refer rather to the 
appearances presented by different corals and algae. 

11* Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, by J. W. M'Crindle, p. 20. 

346 Proceedings oj the Royal Irish Academy. 


While these pages are passing through the press my attention has 
been drawn by Prof. Haddon to au article in the October number of the 
Edinburgh Revieio on Aristotle's History of Animals. Aristotle's 
history has not been often quoted in this paper, for the simple reason that 
it contains little or nothing of importance about Indian animals which 
is at the same time original. The statement of Pliny and Athenaeus, 
that Alexander sent Indian animals to Aristotle, has been rejected as 
being without foundation by Humboldt, Schneider, and Grote. "With 
this opinion, which is endorsed by the writer of the review, I fully 
agree, on account of the absence of original remarks regarding them ; 
but I must take exception to part of what he says about Ktesias, for 
although he objects to Aristotle's mention of him as a man " unworthy 
of credit" {ovk wv dftoTrto-Tos), and as a "manifest liar " (^avepos 
iil/£vcr/ji.€vo<;), he himself says that the following, together with some of 
the races of men mentioned by Ktesias, are ' ' simply creatures of the 
imagination," or " altogether fabulous." The animals so denominated 
are the SJcolex, Di'kairon, MartiJcJiora,^^^ and the Indian ass, the origin of 
the stories regarding each of which, and their respective identifications, 
I venture to believe I have successfully explained in the foregoing pages. 
His opinion as to the identity of the KroTcottas agrees, I observe, with 

It has occurred to me that the Leucrocotta of Pliny (B. viii. ch. 30) 
was the I^ilgai {Portax pictus). According to his description it was 
the size of the wild ass, with the legs of a stag, the neck, tail, and breast 
of a lion, the head of a badger, a cloven hoof, the mouth slit up as far 
as the ears, and one continuous bone instead of teeth. The last item 
I cannot explain ; but the mane and tail of the j!^ilgai sufl3.ciently 
resemble those of the lion to have suggested the comparison. 

The Hippelaphas of Aiistotle has also been supposed to be the 
Nilgai by some writers. 

^'5 Topsell's fantastic figxtre of the Martikhora, given in his "History of Four- 
footed Beasts," which is reproduced hy Miss Phipson in her '•'Animal Lore of 
Shakespere," might easily he spoken of as a creature of the imagination. 

Ferguson — On the Kenfg Insoiptiou. 347 

L. — Oy THE Kejtfig IirscErPTio:s'. Bv Sip. SinrEL PEfiGrsoy, 
LL.D., Q.C., President. 

[Read, February 12, 1S83.] 

The object of this Paper is to show probable grounds for believing- 
that traces of the name Meelln", as well as of certain Christian 
symbols, the antiquity of which has of late years been generally dis- 
credited, exist on the Ogham-inscribed stone at Kenfig in Glamorgan- 

The other Ogham inscriptions of Wales and South Britain are 
couched in the same form and dialect as those of Ireland. Early 
British and Irish Histories {Ne^mius Hist. Brit., c. viii., Ixvi., Cormae 
Gloss., Mug Eiine) allege an Irish settlement in South Wales and South 
Britain in and before the third century, as well as an expulsion of 
these settlers on the advent from Northern Britain of a conquering 
race, described as the sons of Cunedda, before the middle of the fifth. 
Those archaeologists, who regard these inscriptions as old British, 
conceive the language of both countries to have been the same until 
the revolution consequent on this invasion induced on the old British 
language its present Welsh characteristics, of which the most noticeable 
for the purposes of this Paper is the substitution of P for K or Q,, as 
in Map, a son, for Maq or Mac in the other dialect. In either point of 
view — it is not necessary to discuss which is the better grounded — 
the ordinary Welsh Oghams are, prima facie, referable to a remote 
epoch, possibly not later than the sixth century. 

The fable of Merlin, at least under his name of A-mbrosius, is as 
old as the British j^ennius (about a.d. 858), Avho makes him cotem- 
porary with Yortigern and the coming of the Saxons ; but he is not 
mentioned by his name Merlin in documents earlier than the twelfth 
century. The symbols referred to have hitherto been known only in 
Welsh bardic tracts of an age not going above the fifteenth. To carry 
back either the name or the symbols in question to Welsh Oghamic 
times would consequently corroborate Welsh pretensions to a high-age 
literature by a very authentic kind of evidence. There were two 
Merlins ; one the British magician, ascribed to the fifth ; the other 
the Caledonian prophet, to the sixth century. The earlier Merlin with 
whom we are here concerned was the "infans sine patre" of the tale 
in j^ennius (c. xliii., xliv.), the "son of thelSTun," of mediaeval romance. 
The IS^un of Caermarthen is fabled to have borne him to a spirit, and 
throughout Welsh poetry and tradition he is known as Map, the son, 
or an Map, the illegitimate or misborn son of the Nun ; in the Welsh 
language an map and an hap lleian. I do not pretend to penetrate the 
mysticism lying behind the popular ideas attaching to him ; but if this 
be his name which, on the Kenfig stone, appears to answer to another 
proper name, in Latin, also inscribed upon it, it may reasonably be 
believed that under the puerile outlines of the fable something esoteric 
lies concealed. 

K.I. A. PROC, 8ER. II. VOL. 11. — POL. LIT. AND AXTIQ. 2 Q 

348 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Premising so mnch, and asking attention to this matronymic of 
Merlin, I proceed to give some account of the situation and his- 
tory of the Kenfig Monument, and to indicate in detail what remains 
of the inscription. To reach the Kenfig Stone, descend at the Pyle 
station on the railway from Cardiff to Swansea, and pursue the road lead- 
ing westward at first on the northern side of the railway, by Water- 
street, towards Margam. Some hundred yards beyond the last house of 
the scattered hamlet of Water-street, at somewhat over a mile and a half 
from the station, the stone will be observed erect on the south side of 
tlie highway. The "street" entering into the local name intimates 
tliat we are here on the line of the Eoman road leading towards Nidimi 
(Neath) of the Itinerary from the Silurian Venia (Caer Gwent) and 
the "trajectus" of the Severn; and may prepare us for observing 
without surprise that the stone bears on its face, towards the road, 
an inscription in Latin This is the long-known legend, Ptjmpeius 
CAEANTOnrus, incised in debased Poman characters, reading from above 
downwards. The e in Pumpeius is of the Irish form, and the general 
aspect of the work, coupled with the position of the monument, point 
to an origin in the later post-Poman period. 

So far as regards this part of the inscription, the stone was known 
to the editor of Gough's Camden : — 

'\Between Margam and Kinfeage by the road-side lies a stone near foiu* feet 
long, with this inscription : — 

Pump eius 
Caran topius. 

This, as the Right Reverend the Bishop of Landaff informs me, the Welsh by 
altering read and explain thus : — Pim bis an cak antopitjs, q. d. The five fingers of 
our friends or neighbours slew us, believing it to be the sepulchre of Morgan, the 
prince from whom the country took its name." — (Camd. Brit. 1789, vol. ii. p. 493.) 

But it was not until 1846 that the existence of the associated 
Ogham was noticed. We owe this cHscoveiy to the acute eye of Pro- 
fessor Westwood, who here, for the first time — apprized of the nature 
of Oghamic writing by Petrie's Essay on our Irish Ecclesiastical 
Architecture — discov'ered the existence of such characters in Wales. 

In 1873 Mr. Rhys, now Celtic Professor in the University of 
Oxford, gave the Kenfig Stone, amongst other Ogham-inscribed Welsh 
monuments, a careful inspection, and succeeded in making out the 
remains of what evidently is some form of the key-word Maqi, which 
determines the course of the reading, and ascertains the positions 
wherein we should look for the principal name and for the patronymic. 
In other Ogham bilinguals of Wales each name in the Ogham cha- 
racters is a literal or nearly literal echo of a corresponding name in 
the Roman ones. Expecting to find such a replica of the Latin in the 
associated Ogham here, Mr. Rhys conceived that certain triradial 
marks at the commencement of the legend, being in fact the symbols 
I have referred to, arc representatives of the two ^'s of PuiiPEius, one 

Ferguson — On the Kenfig Imcriptlon. 








of them compoimded with, m, and that the reading of tho 
earlier part of the legend, as the characters originally stood, 
probably was Pornpei, or Fopei Carmitoral, the residue 
being smeq. . . . II. . . . n. 

In the autumn of 1874 I visited the Kenfig Stone, 
but not under favourable circumstances for observation, 
and failed at first to see what I now believe to be its full 
significance. I perceived, however, that the compound 
triradial character taken for mp stood at the head of the 
legend, and was followed, after some vowel points, by the 
uncompounded one, so that a literal echo of Pompeitjs 
could not have been intended. It was also apparent that 
the vowel preceding the b, comprised too many points for 
A, and was E or i, but apparently e ; that there was no 
trace of any vowel between e and l ; and that what had 
been taken for s preceding maqi included a fifth digit, 
which probably had been regarded as a natural indenta- 
tion, but which struck me as sculptural, making n. 
Coupling the group E H L with the terminal N, I could 
not but be struck with these elements of the name Merlin ; 
but the E E, L were separated by a long lacuna which I 
could not then account for from the 'Si, and my impres- 
sions, although highly stimulatory of the imagination, 
remained pei'plexed and obscure, so that I soon began 
to desire an opportunity of seeing the Monument again, 
and satisfying myself on various doubts excited by con- 
tinuing reflection. Accordingly, on the 29th June, 1875, 
I again visited Pyle and made the paper cast of the in- 
scription, which I now lay on the table. It has suffered 
a good deal by rubbing and carriage in the interval, but 
is sufiicient to justify me in stating to the Academy that 
what remains of the inscription affords the sequences of 
ascertainable characters and letters indicated in dark lines 
in the subjoined diagram. The text begins on the eastern 
or left-hand arris, disappears altogether along the top, 
which appears never to have borne any inscription, and is 
continued down the western arris to the ground level. 
The eastern group consists of the two triradial characters 
resembling the broad arrow, separated and followed by 
vowel points now much abraded, but seemingly consisting 
of one group, between them, of two points, and another, 
following, of six distinguishable and (two ?) abraded 
points. After these, and a lacuna extending the length 
of the top, come the letters E E, L, and then a long- 
abrasion, from which the characters have disappeared, all 
save obscure vowel points following L, apparently five in 
number, leading up to what may be the remains of three 
stem-crossing digits (N G), but of which the last one only 

2 Q2 

350 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

can be said to be distinguishable, these foUo-^ed, after a short lacuna, 
by ]S^. Directly foUoTving the N comes a well-marked M, a lacuna 
equal to about four points, a Q, and another lacuna, suggesting very 
cogently the lost Q and I of an original Maqi. written Meq^i, or it 
may be Ileqq. or Miqq. Then comes the name of the parent, a geni- 
tive in A, and we note the seemingly feminine form with increased 
interest, observing that the word begins with double L, followed by a 
lacuna long enough to hold the vowel points, which would yield i a 
before the existing IS" A at the end, and so give lliana. Here, then, 
would be Maqq lliana in conjunction with what appear the elements 
of the name of Merlin Mai^ lleian. 

Applying our attention now to the principal name, we look in vain 
for any trace of the missing M immediately before the EEL; but, 
recalling the fact that the triradial gi'oups with their string of vowels 
of the eastern arris are preceded by the compound character containing 
that letter, and that this is the initial character of the entire legend, 
we may be reminded of something similar which led me, so far back 
as 1870, to speculate on the probable existence in Ogham legends 
of wh£.t I ventured to designate as the " dispartition of proper names," 
on which analogy it might be allowable to accept the initial 31 of 
the opposite angle, whether compounded or distinct, as the desiderated 
initial of the name, which would thus assume the nearly complete 
form, HEEL :N". 

TTe might accept the unin fleeted 1^ before ]5JLaqi as the last character 
of tlie name. But the interspace is too long for a single /, and must 
have held at least twice as many points and digits. It might have 
held both the i and ng necessary to complete Merling, which would 
account for the uninfl.ected X before Maqi. But if this last letter be 
not part of the name, some vowel must have preceded it to give it an 
independent articulate force. "What must we assume this to be ? The 
question receives a solution agreeable to the hypothesis which has 
conducted us so far, in the prefix anmap, as we have seen it above 
associated with the name of Merlin. This concludes the reasoning on 
which, it is submitted, that if the entii'e inscription, omitting the 
interjected symbols, and their string of vowels, were spread before us, 
as it was originally sculptured, it would present this appearance : — 


Merlin m's [born] son of the Xun. 

I do not suggest that this was the sepulchral monument of Herlin, 
supposing such a person ever to have existed. Its position seems 
rather that of a termon pillar, looking to the neighbouring ecclesias- 
tical precinct of Eglys Xunydd, distant about three hundred yards. 
The old buildings at Egiys Kunydd have been partly incorporated into 
a modern residence, but the antiquity of the site is evinced by a 
sculptured stone in the grounds, which bears the outlines of a Greek 

Ferguson — On the Kenfig Inscviptlon. 351 

cross, accompanied by ornamentation of a very primitive type, recalling 
the zig-zag and volutes of Dowth, together with the remains of a much- 
corroded inscription : E[a7iG crucem fecimus VII. anmah .... {orate) . . 
{orate). Who were the Septem anmacs, if I have rightly read the legend, 
or whether the name of the parent was masculine or feminine, time has 
made it impossible to guess ; but the monument gives an entirely 
<Jhristian and even mystical character to the place. Merlin, indeed, 
is the very impersonation of esoteric ideas, for parallels to which wo 
might look to the Bogomiles of the fifth century and kindred sects in other 
countries. It is true, Welsh tradition treats him as a real person, and 
the author of the Englynion y ledcleu, corresponding to the Irish Laoi na 
leacht, or Poem of the Graves, calls him Merlin Ambrosius, the Lion of 
Luaghor, the Son of the Nun {anap lleiati), and records that his grave 
is in Newais Vynyd, which may, perhaps, indicate this very Nunydd: — 

Bed an ap lleian ym ISTewais 
Yynyd Uuagor lieu Emreis 
Priff ddawin Merdyn Emreis. 

(Myv. Arch. I. 77.) 

And, if Eglys I^unidd were indeed the place meant— though I would 
rather imagine it to be called after the name of a person — these verses, 
at least as old as the time of William of Salisbury, in the fifteenth, 
century, would be very apposite to this inquiry ; but I am not 
qualified to determine a question of Welsh topography, and conclude 
that whether Merlin was a real or imaginary being, and whether this 
be or be not the once-reputed place of his burial, there are pro- 
bable grounds for believing that his name and designation did, at 
one time, exist on this western arris of the Kenfig monument. 

Let us now give our attention to that part of the Ogham text 
existing on the left-hand or eastern arris. The character resembling 
the civil "broad arrow" certainly corresponds to a well-known 
symbol in use among the Welsh Bardic writers. This symbol is 
alleged, by those who believe in the authenticity of Welsh Bardic 
tradition, to have stood for the name of God from primeval times, and 
to have been the original from which all alphabetical writing among 
them, especially the Coelbren y leirdd, or Bardic alphabet, proceeded. 
The critical school of Welsh writers denies to the Coelbren a proved 
existence earlier than the end of the sixteenth or beginning of the 
seventeenth century, and condemns the symbol from which it professed 
to originate to a similarly questionable origin. Mr. Pryse, editor of 
the 3rd edition of Dr. Owen Pughe's Welsh Dictionary (Denbigh, 
1866), has accurately summed up the conclusions of this school in what 
he says in his preface to that work, when speaking with some dis- 
paragement of Dr. Pughe's belief in the authenticity of the Bardic 
writings : — " He was also a believer in the authority and adaptability 
of the Bardic alphabet to the Welsh language, although its existence 
has not been proved before the time of Llewelyn Sion, about 1600 " 

352 Fioceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

(Born 1580 ; and died, 1616. Barddas, I. Ixxv.). On the otlier 
hand, the Welsh MSS. Society has followed the example of the 
author of the " Hanes Cymru," and have affixed the triradial group 
to their publications as a symbol of authentic significance ; and, 
indeed, if we are not to regard the late Edward "Williams (lolo 
Morganwg), either as a forger or as the dupe of forgers of an earlier 
date, there cannot be a doi;bt that the symbol was regarded as a 
primary feature of the old Bardic system at a much earlier period than 
that of Llewelyn Sion. In the collections of Mr. "Williams, published 
by the Society under the title of the lolo MSS. (Llandoyery, 1848, 
text, p. 45 ; translation, p. 424), there is a piece purporting to have 
been copied by "\^^illiams from a MS. of Llewelyn Sion, purporting 
again to have been copied fi'om Meyrick Davydd's transcript of an old 
MS. in the library of Baglan Castle. The library of Eaglan Castle 
was foiTQcd by "William Earl of Pembroke, in 1590, and destroyed by 
fire in the time of Oliver Cromwell (Skene's "Four Books," vol. i., 
p. 2). "We must, therefore, take the tract on its own representation, 
which, to a mind unsuspicious of iraud, and averse from the facile but 
ignominious method of reconciling literary difficulties by gratuitous 
suggestions of forgery, bears the impress of an origin in ideas that were 
current at a very much earlier period than it will be necessary for us 
to explore in this investigation. The tract is entitled, " The Eoll 
of Tradition and Chronology here," evidently grounded on the doctrine 
of the logos, and commences by stating " The announcement of the 
divine Najiie is the first event traditionally preserved ; and it occurred 

as follows : God, in vocalising His IS^ame, said 7^" , and with the word 
all worlds and animations sprang co-instantaneously to being and life 

from their non-existence, shouting in ecstasy of joy, -jf^, and thus 
repeating the name of the Deity." It proceeds to state that this name 
is not to be divulged orally, and goes on to give an account of the first 
institutions of Society, of the Bai'dic Order, and of the early progresses 
of the Cymri, where it breaks off abruptly, leaving no internal evidence 
beyond that of style and orthography from which to determine the 
date of its composition. 

We may now with advantage consider what further statements 
have been made respecting the method of symbolising the name of 
God, and whether anything else observable in the associated groups 
before us may be regarded as of significance in that connexion. I am 
now about to cite fi'om another collection of fiuther materials left 
by the late Edward "\\^illiams, published by the Welsh MSS. Society 
(Llandovery, 1862), and edited by the Eev. James Williams {ah Ithel)^ 
author of " Ecclesiastical Antiquities of the Cymri." It is entitled 
" Barddas," and is stated by the Editor to consist almost wholly of com- 
positions of Llewelyn Sion, but the date or authorship will presently be 
seen to be of little moment. The principal tractate takes its commence- 
ment from the same primary group of three rays which we have been 
considering. It adds, however, a statement which cannot fail to excite a 
lively interest in connexion with the appearance of the vowel groups 

Ferguson — On the Ken fig Inscription. 353 

associated with those symbols in the Oghamic text before us. The 
symbol, it will be observ^ed, consists of three radii, the central one, 
us explained in these writings, corresponding to the perpendicular 
shaft of the sun's light at mid-day, and the oblique ones on either 
side corresponding to the slant rays of evening and morning ("Bard- 
das," i. p. 21), "and," the tract proceeds, "it was on hearing the 
sound of the voice, which had in it the utterance of the three notes 
corresponding to the three rays, that he (^. e. a mythical impersonation 
of Adam) obtained the three letters, and knew the sign that was 
suitable to one and other of them. . . . And it was from the three 
primary letters that was constructed every other letter. . . . Thus 
was the voice that was heard placed on record in the symbol, and 
meaning attached to each of the three notes. The sense of was 
given to the first column, the sense of I to the second or middle column, 
and the sense of V to the third ; whence the word OIV" (^ib. p 18). 
This OIV, or OIU, as it is elsewhere written (ibid. 65), had, it is 
further stated, before the time of Taliesin, been written 0. I. 0., and 
was subsequently made 0. 1. W. {ib. p. 65, citing Simon Bradford, a 
bard of 1760-80), and its use in these various forms in the composi- 
tions of bards, from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, in- 
clusive {ib. pp. 20, 21, «.), appears to be a well-established fact, 
vouched by numerous quotations, of which one will suffice here as 
showing the Scriptural and Christian complexion of this part of the 
Bardic mythos. The line is from Davydd Nanmor, who died, a.d. 
1460 : — 

0. I. ag "W. yw ag Oen 
He is 0. I. and "W". and a lamb. 

At whatever period, therefore, the system was composed, it is evident 
that, for a long time, these expressions of the Divine IS^ame by the 
triradial symbol and by this group of vowels have gone together in 
Bardic symbolography ; and we may now turn again to the considera- 
tion of the Oghamic text, with a reasonable certainty that if we find 
in it these vowels associated with the triradial symbols we have 
already examined, we may regard ourselves as on firm ground among 
memorials, if of a mysticism older, perhaps, than our impressions of 
Bardic pretensions may have prepared us for, yet of a mysticism 
having its origin at some time in the Christian period. And, in fact, 
traces of the vowel do appear after the first triradial group, and of 
other vowel points after the second, which, if eight in number, would 
yield among other combinations the equivalents I. U. Subject, there- 
fore, to the reserves which must be taken into account in dealing with 
indentations so weather-worn, and possibly mutilated, a concurrence 
of evidences seems to lead us towards the conclusion that these groups 
on the left arris are in fact the Bardic symbols and monogram of the 

Some pregnant reflections will probably, by this time, have arisen 

354 Ferguson — On the Kenfig Inscription. 

iu the minds of those who have given attention to recent exami- 
3iations of the Welsh Bardic pretensions : — First, that if these be the 
symbols of the Barddas. they are here, for the first time, found on a 
monument of high antiquity ; secondly, that they are here for the 
first time found engraved on stone ; and, thirdly, as regards their 
vocalic elements, for the first time found so expressed in Ogham 
characters. For neither in the Barddas, nor elsewhere, as far as I 
know, is there any Welsh written record of a lapidary use (except on 
stone dice or lettered tessera, arrangeable by the hand) of what is called 
their Coeliren or Bardic alphabet, or of this triradial symbol on which 
it professes to be founded.^ 

Supposing then that this Ogham inscription contains the name of 
Merlin anmap lleian coupled with the symbols and monogram of the 
Christian Trinity, it, at first sight, will appear to depart from the 
imalogy of other monuments of its class, in not afPording an echo in 
sound to the associated name Pitmpeius CAKANxofiius. This titulus, 
however, has more the appearance of a name of ofiice than of a name 
of appellation. It seems to express a function and a mode of exercis- 
ing it, and might be rendered "Five-wise Warrantor."^ If the allu- 
sion be to the wounds of Our Lord, then it will not be inconceivable 
that some parallelism may be intended. Into this region of mysticism, 
however, it is not my intention to enter. 

I wish a perfect cast in plaster could be procured of the Kenfig 
monument. Unless I have misled myself all along the line of research 
jDursued in respect of everything on and about it, it affords proof of a 
continuing Oghamic usage in Wales after — probably long after — the 
sixth century ; of a singular turn for sculptural mysticism ; and of a 
high antiquity for expressions and symbols of such ideas amongst the 
"Welsh, generally thought, at present, to be the creation of compara- 
tively modern Bardic imposture. 

^ The principal objection to the Coelbren itself is, that it never has'heen used by 
the people, and it has only been since the discovery of three initials, engraved in 
that character on a mediasval bedstead in " the Court" at Merthyr Tydvil, that its 
impugners have fully acquitted Edward Williams of being himself the fabricator of 
it {Braddas, 1, 164 n.) The allegation is, that -u-hen, after the revolt of Owen 
Glendower, in the fifteenth century, the means of obtaining paper and parchment 
^^■ere denied to the Welsh, and the bards, for the preservation of their literature, 
had to cast about for a substitute, they revived the use of this method of letter- 
cutting on -svood, the memory of which had still been traditionally preserved among 
them. The tract on this subject contains an incidental observation which goes 
some length to show that the framers of the Coelbren had traditions in medieval 
orthography derived from authentic, though probably forgotten, sources. I refer 
to what is said {Barddas, 1, 61, 81) of the fashion which once prevailed of dupli- 
cating and triplicating, and even quadruplicating characters — a featui'e of old 
writing which, I believe, remained unnoticed until the divulging of Oghamic texts 
containing like duplications in this country. 

- Carantare. Du Cange. 

Olden — On the CulebatJi. 355 

LI. — On the CrxEBATH. By Eev. Thohas Olden, B. A. 
[Eead, Apiil 13, 1885.] 

In Dean Beeves's Adamnan he discusses tlie nature of a sacred object 
■which belonged to St. Columba, and is said to have been preserved at 
Kells in the eleventh century. It was known as the culehath or cuile- 
faidli. The word does not occur in any dictionary or glossary, and the 
Dean endeavours to arrive at its meaning by a collation of the passages 
in which it occurs. How far these ailord material for a decision will 
appear from a brief review of them. 

The first is from the Annals of Ulster, a. d. 1034, and is as 
follows : — 

Macnia ua h-uchtain, lecturer, of Kells, was lost on his voyage 
from Scotland, and Columcille's culehadh and three of St. Patrick's 
reliques and thirty men with him. 

Again, at a. d. 1128 — 

The successor of St. Patrick was openly outraged in his presence, 
for his retinue were plundered and some of them were killed, and a 
clerical student of his own people, who bore a cidehadh, Avas slain there. 

In the Annals of Tigernach, a. d. 1090 — 

The reliquaries of Columcille, viz. the Bell of the Kings and the 
millebaigTi, came fi'om Tii'connel with 120 oz. of silver, and Aongus 
O'Domnallain was the one who brought them fi'om the IS^orth. 

In the Book of Ballymote also the word occurs in connexion with 
St. Columba and St. Ceallach. 

In none of these passages is there anything to throw light on the 
nature of the culehath ; and I pass on to an extract from the preface to 
the Amra of Columcille, in which the saint is described as •' covering 
his head that he might not see the men or women of Ireland." In this 
the word culpait occurs ; but the introduction of this passage into the 
discussion appears to have been a mistake, as culpait is not the same 
word as culehath, and it has been translated " collar " by Mr. Hennessy, 
in the Life of St. Columba, from the Leabhar Breac. 

There remains only one passage more, from the legend known as 
the " Sea Wanderings of Snedgus and MacBigail." 

"And the bird gave a leaf of the leaves of that tree to the clerics, 
and it was as large as the hide of a great ox ; and told the clerics to 
take it with them and place it on the altar of Columcille. And that is 
the cuilefaidh of Columcille at this day, and it is at Kells that it is." 

This is the only passage which yields any information ; and as we 
learn nothing more from it than that the culehath might be likened to 
the leaf of a tree, it does not help very much. 

Poui- years later appeared O'CiuTy's " Lectures on the Manuscript 
Materials of Irish History." He goes over the same ground, but omit- 

356 Proceedings of the Royal IrisJi Academy. 

ting the passage from the Amra, and adding the following stanza, at- 
tributed to St. Evin : — 

My pure quatuor (Gospels) is strong, 
For law and for sanctuary ; 
"NVe bestoAv, they are good for your valour, 
My clar and my cuilefadli. 

His conclusion is that it is an unknown object. 

Such was the state of the question until the publication of the 
Glosses on the Soliloquia of St. Augustiae by Professor Windisch in the 
" Irisehe Texte," brought out jointly by Dr. Stokes and himself, and 
published in Berlin last year. In these glosses I found the word 
ffahellum glossed culehath. Windisch's note on this, gloss ISTo. 86, is 
merely " I have never met the word except in this place." But it is 
clearly the word which gave so much trouble to the distinguished 
editor of Adamnan, and thus it appears that this sacred relic, reputed 
to have been St. Columba's. and to have been in existence a. d. 1090, 
was a liturgical Fan. 

In Cardinal Bonas's work on the Litm-gy, quoted in Bingham's ^?i- 
tiquities of the Christian Church, we find the following passage : — 

" They have, in conclusion, fans with which two deacons standing 
at either side of the altar drive away flies and other unclean insects 
which fly past, so that they may not touch the sacred things. The 
Greeks call them the ' holy ptTrtSta', that is ' Holy Fans'. The use of 
these in the Greek Church is extremly ancient, and is expressly men- 
tioned in the Apostolic Constitutions (lib. viii., cap. 12), in the 
Litui'gies of Basil and Chrysostom, and in others of the Eastern 
Church. They have a rather long handle, to the end of which is at- 
tached the face of a cherub surrounded by sis wings. By moving 
this the deacons fan the sacred gifts at certain times directed in the 

Such a practice was obviously convenient under the burning 
Eastern sun, and in lands teeming with insect life, but fr'om the 
East it passed to the Western Church, where, being certainly out of 
place, it gradually declined, and flnally ceased about the fourteenth 

Fans are mentioned as existing in many places on the Continent and 
in England, but according to Mr. Warren^ they are not mentioned in 
Irish literature, though represented in the illuminations of the Book of 
Kells. This statement I have now shown to be a mistake, but it is 
worthy of notice that they are only referred to in connexion with our 
earliest ecclesiastics. These are St. Patrick, if 0' Curry is right in de- 
scribing that at Armagh as his, St. Columba, St. Evin, and St. Ceallach, 
all of whom flourished before the close of the sixth century.- From 
this we may infer that the usage ceased very early in Ii'eland, where 
it miTst soon have been found quite unnecessary. 

^ Sistory and Ritual of tho Celtic Church. 

- St. Columba, b. 521. St. Evin, ti. oOi. St. Ceallach, b. 543. 

(Jldex — On the Culehath. 357 

But though adopted in the West, it is not mentioned in any Western 
Kitual, and never occupied the same position as in the East. There it 
is known to this day as the " Holy Pan" ; the manner of its use is 
prescribed ; the time appointed, and the ecclesiastics by whom it is 
to be "wayed ; and in the ordination of deacons it holds a prominent 

In that ceremony one of the rubrics runs as follows : — 

" After the he puts the stole on the newly ordained over the 
left shoulder, saying 'worthy', and 'worthy' is repeated thrice, ac- 
cording to custom, by those in the Bema, and thrice by the singers. 
Then the bishop gives him the Holy Pan, saying as before, ' worthy', 
and all the deacons give him the kiss. And he, taking the Fan, stands 
comer-wise at the holy table at the right side, and fans above the 
blessed sacrament." ^ 

The material of which the fans were made was originally of the 
simplest kind. In the Apostolic Constitutions referred to by Cardinal 
Bona they are said to be of " thin membrane, or peacock's feathers, or 
fine cloth." This was in the third or fourth centmy, but in after- 
times they were made in a more costly fashion, being generally of 
silver, as those represented in the illuminations of the Book of Kells 
appear to have been, and if those paintings are coeval with St. Columba, 
they no doubt represent that actually used by him. 

Cardinal Bona describes one form of fan, but there were many 
others, such as those depicted in the Book of Kells, which were of a 
circular form with an ornament attached, apparently a tassel. This is 
the kind said to be used by the Maronites at the present day. 

The term by which they are known in the Greek litui'gy is pLTnSia, 
as already mentioned. In the AVest they were indifferently named 
flabeUxan, flahrum, ventilalrum, muscatorium, muscifugium. The Irish 
term is variously spelt, the earliest form being culebath, which is that 
of the Soliloqiiia, the glosses in which are ascribed by Windisch to the 
ninth century. It appears to be a vernacular term compounded of 
cuil, pi. cicili, " a fly " (Lat. culex, " a midge," " a gnat ") ; and hadh, 
" suppression or destruction" ; and it approaches nearest in meaning 
to the muscifugium above mentioned. 

Similiar compounds are dunehadh, "man-destruction"; lohhadh, 
' ' cow-destruction " .* 

^ Littledale, Offices of the Holy Eastern Church. 

* The following are the different forms of the word ; — 

culebath, in the Soliloquia. 

cule hadh. \ . i _c t^i ^ 
7 •, , i, \ Annals oi Lister. 
cliuile-baah, j 

cuile bad, St. Evin. 

cuili-bad, Book of Ballymote. 

chuille-haigh , Tigemach. 

cuilcfaidh, Snedgus and MacRigail. 

I have adopted the form culehath as the earliest, but the last of the forms here 
given represents the pronunciation accurately enough. 

358 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

It is an interesting example of an ecclesiastical term which is not 
a loan-word. 

The loss of its meaning in Ireland illustrates a remark of Professor 
Zimmer that, on the cessation of the Danish invasions and the revival 
of learning, the knowledge of old Irish had to a great extent died out. 

It is strange to find such scholars as the Four Masters entirely un- 
acquainted with the word. In one passage of their work taken from 
the Annals of Ulster, a. d. 1034, they divide it into two words, 
cu lehadh, translated "with the bed" (e.e. of St. Columba) by Dr. 
0' Donovan, who was not aware of the mistake. 

The recovery of its long-forgotten meaning is an instance of the 
value of those glosses which have been so fortunately preserved 
abroad, and in the present case of those on the Soliloquia in particular, 
for which, as for many other services to Irish literature, we have to 
thank Professor Windisch. 


" My clar and my cuilefadh.'" 

Mr. O'CuiTy, in quoting the stanza from the poem of St. Evin, 
leaves the word clar untranslated. It means a board or table ; and the 
article which St. Evin here leaves, together with his copy of the 
Gospels and his Fan, seems to have been one of the portable altars 
made of wood, which were in use, especially by missionaries, until 
the close of the eighth century. 

The earliest existiug example is that which was found in the 
cathedi^al of Durham, with the bones of St. Cuthbert, who died a. d. 
687, and which doubtless belonged to him. It is now preseiwed in 
the Chapter Library. The material of which it is composed is wood, 
covered with very thin silver ; its size being 6 in. by b\. A similar 
portable altar was found on the breast of St. Acca, bishop of Hexham 
(who died a. d. 740), when his bones were exhumed more than 300 
years ago. It was composed of two pieces of wood, joined by silver 

The word is, therefore, another instance of a vernacular ecclesias- 
tical term. 

Frazer — Playing Cards of Reign of Queen Anne. 359 

LII. — DESCEiPTioisr OF A Series of Plating Cards eelating to the 
Political Histoky of Eey. De. Sacheveeell in the Reign of 
Queen Anne, by "William Feazer, F.E.C.S.I., M.E.I.A. 

[Read, December 8, 1884.] 

The literature of that remarkable period in our Engiisli history ex- 
tending from 1709 to 1711, the year 1710 being its central point of 
interest, abounded in political excitement. Pamphlets from opposite 
sides of the question were published absolutely in hundreds, and 
eagerly read. Party strife reached its boiling point and convulsed the 
kingdom. The question of Ministerial power and responsibility, of 
Eoyal influence, of the rights of the English people, of the ultimate 
chances of succession to the thi'one of a Stuart or Hanoverian Prince, 
the long-continued and close intimacy between Queen Anne and the 
Duchess of Marlborough, now coming to an unexpected disruption, 
the prosperous tide of warlike successes of the great Duke of Marl- 
borough himself, when he had succeeded in humbling the troops of 
Louis XIV. by successive defeats, suddenly arrested, and his honesty 
even brought into question — all these matters were made subjects of 
fierce contention, and of alternate blame or praise by party zeal. 

The supporters of Dr. Sacheverell appealed to the non-juring 
clergy, to the still existing sentiments of cavalier loyalty in the gentry 
and nobles, and to the thorough-paced advocates of Regal Rights, who 
still formed a large section of the community ; whilst the successors 
of the old Cromwellian party, those who detested the politics and court 
life of Charles II. and his unfortunate brother James II., and who had 
succeeded in bringing about the Revolution under William and Mary, 
were equally resolute in their efforts to uphold the Bill of Rights, and 
the principles of limited constitutional government. In the words of 
Defoe, so eminently characteristic of his style and mode of thought, 
we find him saying, "I have nothing to say to the man ; I owe him 
neither good or ill ; let him be punished or escape punishment. It is 
the temper of insulting the laws and preaching up tyranny — 'tis this I 
oppose, and this I will oppose." 

No less than seventeen portraits of Dr. Sacheverell are described 
in jSToble's Biographical History : there were medals also struck to 
commemorate the strife, and caricatures in large number testify still 
further to the interest taken in the burning questions of 1710. 

On consulting the Catalogue of Satirical Prints and Drawings in 
the British Museum, from 1689 to 1733, vol. ii., No. 1546, we read 
the following statement : — 

" This sheet consists of twenty-six engraved subjects, illustrative of 
the career of Sacherevell ; they were prepared for a pack of cards, 
and belong to the suits of diamonds and hearts : the cluhs and spades 
are not known. A few of the subjects refer to general affairs un- 

360 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

connected with Sacheverell. Each, card has a couplet engraved under 
the design as below." 

Reference to the British Museiini Catalogue will supply a full 
description of the series of red cards, hearts and diamonds, which are 
preserved in that great national collection. By chance, through the 
kindness of a friend, the missing black cards belonging to the spades 
and clubs, which were up to this time totally unknown, have fallen into 
my possession, and we are able, with their aid, to complete the literary 
and political history of Dr. Sachevcrell, so far as they were recorded 
in this interesting pack of cards, each of which will be briefly described 
in a manner similar to those already catalogued in the British Museum. 
The cards were designed and published immediately about the period 
when the Doctor managed to set England in a blaze of excitement, 
and was at the height of his popularity as a High Church champion. 

Description of the Suit op Spades. 

Ace. — The mace and purse arc carried off from the Lord Chancellor, 
who is seated : — 

" See Mm Surrender up the Piu'se and Mace, 
That Harcourt may supply Lord Coop — 's place." 

Sir Simon Harcourt was one of Sacheverell's council when he was 

Two. — Queen Anne on a throne, an angel represented drawing 
aside a curtain held by the Duchess of Marlborough ; Harley walking 
towards the throne : — 

" An angel makes the Cm-tain open wide. 
And shews y<= Queen that tiiith w"-'' one would hide." 

Three. — Queen Anne giving a key to Earl Powlett, Harley, after- 
wards Earl of Oxford, and others, as Commissioners, on dismissal of 
Lord Godolphin, the High Treasurer, August 8, 1710 : — 

" Into his worthy Hands she gives the Key, 
By which her Mistress hreathes an Air that's free." 

Four. — Sacheverell robed at the bar of the House of Lords, his 
accusers urging their statements to the Chancellor and Peers : — 

" Stern Managers against his Doctrines raU, 
And in them Anna's sacred Eights assail." 

Five. — A Judge pronouncing sentence on the several persons out- 
side the Bar : — 

" The Baron may excel the wise Recorder, 
But killing Horses never will be Miu-der." 

Six. — Sacheverell walking down through House of Lords, away 
from the empty woolsack, the Lords grouped on either side. On May 

Frazer — Playing Cards of Reign of Queen Anne. 361 

23rd. 1710, Sacheverell Tvas prohibited by the House of Lords frota 
preaching for three years, and his sermon ordered to be bnriied by the 
hangman: — 

" Law may affix a Padlock to Ms Tongue, 

But Innocence will liave a Voice that's strong." 

Seven. — The Chancellor seated, giving sheets of paper to a mes- 
senger. In the back ground is a man holding the mace : — 

" Here, Ja b, take the Tryall to the Press, 

After it has put on a proper Dress." 

Might. — The doctor speaking at the Bar of the House of Lords : — 

" The D r at the House of P rs attends, 

To answer Articles which the Com s sends." 

Nine. — A Judge seated, speaking to a number of persons who are 
evidently enraged : — 

" Sentence upon Offenders may be pass'd. 
Yet Monarchs Pardon those whom Juryes cast.' ' 

Ten. — Militia captain with halbert, followed by two armed soldiers, 
one of whom is drinking from a pewter pot which the other holds for 
him. People huzzaing and running : — 

"■ Goodly and great ililitia Captain Strides, 
And with y« Champion's mien, y« Coward hides." 

King. — A number of persons with account books on hands. Marl- 
horough, after the battle of Malplaquet, returned to England, and was 
accused of misapplying the public money in the winter of 1710 : — 

" When books are look'd in, t'^Boll appear at last 
What they deserve that leave Accounts unpas'd." 

Queen. — The Duchess of Marlborough represented holding a dish 
for Queen Anne to wash her hands, and throwing the water in Mrs. 
Masham's face : — 

" Kept from insulting a too bounteous Queen, 
She on the faithful Mas m sheds her spleen." 

Knave. — An old printing press in operation. Sir Samuel Garrard, 
the lord mayor, refused to support the assertion of Dr. Sacheverell, 
that he had sanctioned the printing of the sermon delivered in St. 
Paul's, jSTovember 5th, 1709, wherein he declared that "the Chiu'ch 
was in danger : — " 

" He that commands a Sermon to the Press 
Ought to stand by the Preacher in Distress." 

362 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

Desceiptio??' of the Suit of Clubs. 

Ace. — Dr. Hoadley is represented preachins: in a tub, with Mitre 
in one hand, and the Westminster Confession of Faith in the other, on 
his head a conical cap. Dr. Hoadley, then Rector of St. Peter's-le- 
Poer, in London, -^as represented in several caricatures of the time 
"with Presbyterian books at his side : — 

" The Mytre in one hand, and league in t'other, 
Show that the Tubster is a fickle Brother." 

Two. — Waterman -with badge on his breast, and bailifi on his knees, 
attacked by foot soldiers : — 

" The "Waterman and Bailiff on their Knees, 
Implore theii- Mercy that upon them seize." 

Tliree. — Workmen engaged in erecting a scaffolding : — 

" Sculpture by this the Workmen's Toil displays, 
That for the Tryall did the Scaffold raise." 

Four. — A Puritan Meeting-house destroyed by lightning, persons 
fainting and flying, and one supported by a figure mth ass's ears : — 

" No wonder that they'r Thunder-struck and Swoon, 
When Barns, that give them Sustinance, are down." 

Five. — Devil and Puritans at a table, cro'xvn and mitre on the 
gi'ound; a monk is giving absolution, and a lizard-like demon is 
■whispering into the ear of a seated figau'e like Hudibras: — 

" The dark Caball would bring us to Confusion, 
While the Shorn Monk pronounces Absolution." 

Six. — Persons unlading -wooden boards from a cart : behind is a 
church : — 

" Materials for a Scaffold may be bought, 
Yet he that is Impeach'd be void of Fault." 

Seven. — Newsboys running with papers : — 

" A speech that Shows such Injurys and Wrongs 

Calls for Eedi'ess with more than Hawkers' Tongues." 

Fight. — The doctor is conducted to prison: — 

" His Body with Imprisonment is Charg'd, 
But Souls like his in Prison are enlarg'd." 

Nine. — Pulpit and clock burning, men dancing ; in allusion to 
the destruction of the Nonconformist Meeting-house of Dr. Burgess in 
Carey-street, Lincoln's Inn : — 

" The Clock and Pulpit in the Flames expire. 
That help'd Non-con. to set the World on Fire." 

Frazer — Phn/ing Cards of Eeujn of Queen Anne. 363 

Ten. — Bonfire, with men rejoicing around it : — 

" The D r is preserved from being Roasted, 

For ■vrhich his Health around y^ Flames is toasted." 

King. — Mob pulling down a Meeting-house pulpit, clock, &c. Dr. 
Burgess's chapel in Carey street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, was destroyed 
by the mob, March 1st, 1710, during Sacheverell's trial: — 

" "Well were Sedition's Shop in Ruines laid, 
Could we but make the Faction quit y= Trade." 

Queen. — Men attacked by horse soldiers : — 

"When Crouds of Rebels dare assault y<= Crown, 

'Tis just that Loyal Guards should Cleave them down." 

Knave. — Men attempting to pull down a church, Hoadley tries to 
prize open the door ; he is seated before it in canonicals, his crutches 
on the ground. From above an angel is shooting his arrows down : — 

"H d ly may Sap and his Associates pull, 

But Anffels interfere and over rule." 

R. I. A. PKOC, RBR. II., VOL. II. — POT,. LIT AND ANTIQ. 2 i? 

364 Proceedings of the Roij(.il IrisJi Academy. 

LIII. — Desceiption of a "Shale Chaek" obtained in" the City of 


OBSEEVATioifs. By Willia:m Feazee, F.E. C.S.I. , Member of 
Council, Eoyal Irish Academy. 

[Read, Februaiy 15, 1885.] 

In commencing my description of this early specimen of earthenware, 
it might be desirable to explain what is meant by calling it a " Shale 
Chark;" the phrase has become obsolete from long disuse, but in the 
sixteenth centmy it was applied to an article then well understood, 
and in ordinary domestic demand in household economy. Thus we 
find it employed in an " Inventory of the Household Effects of Lord 
Deputy Lore! Leonard Gray, taken in the year 1540," immediately 
after his being recalled to England, and previous to his execution, by 
beheading, on Tower Hill, on the 28th June, 1541. The catalogue of 
his possession was made by the express direction of Heniy VIII. and 
through the chief Officers of State, and is preserved in the Irish State 
Papers, but is accessible from the published account that appears ia 
the Ulster Journal of Arcli(Sology : see vol. vii. p. 201. The writer of 
this communication in the pages of the Ulster Journal offers us, in a 
footnote, the following explanation, or, as he terms it, " a guess at 
what these ' shale charks' were." " Shale in the olden time signified 
earthenware, and the verb ' to chark ' meant to expose new ale in 
shallow vessels to the action of the atmosphere, so that it might 
acquire acidity, and be the sooner fit for drinking." As to the former 
Avord, "shale", I am not quite satisfied that it means "earthenware", 
and prefer the explanation given by Stephen Skinner in his JEtymo- 
loyicon ZinffucB AnffUcancB, A. D. 1671. He considers "shale" equivalent 
to "shell", and explains it by the synonym siliqua, and in a secondary 
sense patera — in fact it simply means a flat dish. As to the word 
"chark", he says it is a common Lincolnshire word, where they con- 
stantly practise the exposure of fresh beer to the air in an open vessel, 
until it gradually acquires some degree of acidity, becoming clearer, 
and more speedily potable ; and he refers the word itself to an Anglo- 
Saxon origin. The necessity for such an exposure becomes more 
intelligible when we recollect that malt liquids were formerly made 
without the addition of hops, and that the sweet decoction of malted 
barley would require to be ripened or acidified by exposure to the air 
to render it a palatable and potable liquor. 

This flat earthen dish now exhibited seems to me to correspond in 
every respect with the description of vessel that was formerly em- 
ployed for " charking" malt liquids. It was obtained by a workman 
who was employed in clearing out the bed of the Poddle river where 
it passes through Ship- (the ancient Sheep) street, which, covered 
over like a common sewer, runs to join the Liffey by passing through 
the grounds of the Old Castle of Dublin, and close to the spot where 
its muddy waters flow beneath the Castle gates, and also near the 
])lace where the Round Tower formerly stood, of which the sole 
survivin"' record is a sketch made bv Gabriel Beranger. 

Frazer — Description of a " Shale CharJ;.''^ 365 

The perfect state of preservation of tliis early specimen of earthen- 
ware is worth observing. We can seldom obtain articles of this 
description fabricated in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in our 
city ; a few broken fi'agments are unearthed from time to time when 
the soil is disturbed, but with the exception of tiles used for ecclesias- 
tical building's, of which some were found when repairing our 
cathedrals — St. Patrick's and Christ Church — and the '' greybeard", 
which in former times was employed to hold wine or brandy ; and 
even these are far from common : any complete and perfect specimen of 
the earthen vessels which were in daily use by our Dublin citizens 
during the reigns of Henry VIII. and of Elizabeth are of exceptional 
occurrence ; yet this dish affords us a good illustration of an early art 
manufacture that must have supplied large quantities of the common 
wares in ordinary demand for the need of every large household, and 
possibly for the daily requirement of our humbler classes of citizens. 

The material employed in fabricating this dish of earthenware was 
a fine description of plastic clay, similar to that which was made use 
■of for preparing the better class of ornamental tiles. Such a clay, 
when subjected to a strong and continued heat, baked into a firm and 
sonorous mass ; and it affords us ample proof of the skill and high degree 
of perfection attained in its manufacture, when we consider its present 
almost perfect condition after so many years of exposure to running 
water in a common city sewer, for it still retains its hardness, and is 
in as good order as when it left its maker's kiln. Its shape is much 
like that of an ordinary dish without the outer flat edge ; it is longer 
than broad, measuring 17^ inches in length, by 15^ inches wide, 
and is about 2i- inches deep ; the angles are rounded, and the outer 
■edge indented by a simple impressed pattern ; the earthen, pale 
brown-coloured clay of which it consists is about three-eighths of an 
inch in thickness ; it is glazed on the interior only, and this glaze, 
which is very perfect, was put on over a rude but effective series of 
brown-coloured lines running somewhat parallel to each other from 
top to bottom of the dish, and which, by tbeir varying tliickness, 
and somewhat curved arrangement, form a rather pleasing appear- 

In this interesting example of early potter's work, which I would 
refer to about the sixteenth century, we have an opportunity of seeing 
a description of dish so seldom met with, that I am not aware of 
another specimen having been found in our city. It has survived 
through many years under conditions which we might consider in a 
special degree most unfavourable, lying exposed in a subterranean 
stream that is liable to sudden and violent floods, and which has 
served the purpose of a common sewer to some of the oldest portions 
of our metropolis. If, besides this alleged antiquity and exceptional 
survivorship, we identify it with the special form of vessel employed 
from very early times to " chark" or render drinkable the malted ale 
Avhich our ancestors drank before hops were in use, or public breweries 
<;stablished, its claims to our notice will not be diminished. 

2 R2 

366 Proceedings of the Eotjal Irish Academij. 

LIV. — 0^^ A London MS. op Ciceeo's Lettees. By Lens C. Puesee^ 
M.A., F.T.C.D. 

[Read, June 8, 1885.] 


In the notes of tlie Preface to the volume of Baiter and Kayser's 
edition of Cicero, which contains the -£^^?. ad Familiares, reference is 
made to two Harleian mss. of that work, which Oehler, even as far 
back as 1839, saw to he independent of the Medicean (M), the 
acknowledged foundation of the criticism of these letters. The 
grounds for his opinion, however, do not appear to have been very 
cogently set forth ; at least they failed to convince Baiter. Sub- 
sequently Pr. Biihl, in the Eheinisches Museum, vol. xxx. (1875),. 
called attention again to these mss., and showed reason why we should 
consider them not to have been copied from M. But Biihl's paper 
was very short, a mere excerpt from a letter he wrote to Ritschl. It 
accordingly occurred to me last year that it would not be inadvisable 
to collate these mss. of the epistles, and examine them as carefully 
as my time allowed. This I did ; and the results of the examination 
of the volume which contains the last eight books of the Epp. ad 
Fam., I am now venturing to lay before the Academy. 

The MS. is JS'o. 2682 of the Harleian collection, a fine folio in 
single columns, written on rough parchment. The lines are ruled a la 
pointe seche. As well as I could judge from undoubted specimens 
of thu'teenth century writing, this ms. belongs to that age ; and such 
is the opinion also of Biihl. The writing is very good and regular, 
the diphthongs (e, and ce are almost always expressed by plain e, the 
letters c and t are constantly confused, the words are frequently 
separated by little strokes inclining towards the left, there are dots, 
over double /, the punctuation is very careless — all marks of thirteenth 
century copying (see Chassant, Palceographie des Chartes, p. 96). The 
MS. consists of 192 folia and 25 quaternions. There are 32 lines on a 
page, and about 82 letters in a line. The handwriting varies on 
fol. 13, returning to the original hand at fol. 14. It varies to yet a 
third hand at fol. 32, which continues to fol. 56. Eetum is then 
made to the first hand ; and in it the rest of the ms. is transcribed. 
There are few corrections by a second hand in any of the treatises, 
except the Philippics. 

On fol. Irt, at the top, we find an entry of the date on which 
it came into Harley's possession, viz., 20 die mensis Octobris, a, d. 
1725. [It was on the same day that he got 2725 (Graevius' well- 

Purser — On a London MS. of Cicero's Letters. 367 

known us. of Horace), 2773 (the irs., called Graevii primus, of the 
lirst eight books of the Epp. ad Fam.), 4933, 5377, 5378 (corre- 
spondence and notes of Graevius). See Streicher, Comm. Philologae 
lenenses, rri. 212.] After that comes the following table of con- 
tents : — 

In hoc libro continentur diuersae epistolae Tullii Ciceronis 

Hie Tullius de amicicia et de senectute 

Inuectiua Tullii in Salustiiim et Salustii in Ciceronem 

In Catilinam tres libri innectiuarum Tullii 

Paradoxa Stoicorum . liber pro Marco Marcello 

liber pro quinto ligario 

Philiphica Tullii . liber officii. 

Alexander in fine. 

As a matter of fact, the works comprised in the volume are : — 

Fol. \l. Epp. ad Familiares, ix.-xvi. 

52e. Epistola ad Octauianum. 

53ff. De Petitione Consulatus. 

bla. De Amicitia. 

643. De Senectute. 

7 Iff. Philippics. 

113«. Cicero in Sallustium. 

114a. Sallustius in Ciceronem. 

11 5«. Orationes (four) against Catiline. 

1255. Paradoxa Stoicorum. 

129rt. Pro Marcello. 

131a. Pro Ligario. 

134«. Pro rege Deiotaro (to aetate § 26. 1216.26 Orelli). 

1355. Pulgentius Planciades de abstrusis Sermonibus. 

1375. Pro Marcello. 

140a. Pro Ligario. 

1425. Pro rege Deiotaro. 

146a. Pro Milone. 

1535. De imperio Cn. Pompeii. 

159a. Erf. ms. fragment about Milo's case (see Orelli ii. 
p. 1152). 
Verrine III. to § 10 deprecati. 

1605. Erf. MS. excei-pts of Verrine IV. 

1645. DeOfficiisI. 

1775. De Officiis II. (to intellegentiae, § 34. 693. 12, Orelli). 

180a. Letter of Alexander the Great to Aristotle, generally 

called Le Situ Indiae. 

185a. Julii Valerii Epitome. 

368 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

The appearance in this Harleian ms. (which I shall call H for the 
future) of the fragment which is added before the oration for Milo in 
the Erfurdt ms., viz., that beginning " P. Clodius senator seditiosus 
fuit" (see Orelli, p. 1152), together with the fact that we find the 
very same fragments of the Verrines, viz. iii. §§ 1-10 to deprecati ; 
and in Verr. IV., those fragments and no othei's which appear inEi'f., 
lead us at once to the surmise that in these works of Cicero, which 
are found both in H and Erf., we shall discover a considerable simi- 
larity. And though the similarity is not as great as I had at first 
expected to find, still there are several of the treatises in H which 
owe their origin to the same archetype as the Erf. ms.^ Now, there 
is another ms., containing various works of Cicero, which belongs to 
the same family as Erf. does. It was owned by the German theologian 
Melchior Hittoi'p ; and we have a good deal of information concerning 
it preserved in the commentaries and Variae Lectiones of Grraevius, 
from which source Wunder and Orelli derive their not unfrequent 
references to this ms. It has just those passages of the third and 
fourth Verrines that Erf. [and H] have. " Melchioris Hittorpii 
schedae . . . excerpta sunt codicis Erfurtensis " (Orelli, p. 235, 
Introd. to Verr. in.). Whether or not it came into Graevius's posses- 
sion I cannot say. But, at any rate, it was a Cologne ms. — whether 
or not identical with the Coloniensis Basilicanus is doubtful (see 
Orelli's Introd. to Delmper. Cn. Pompeii, p. 516) — and much used by 
him along with another ms. of that city, which is generally called 
Coloniensis Graevii. 

Before, however, coming to the Epistolae ad Familiares, it may be 
of some service to take a hasty glance at the other works in the ms., 
as we shall thereby, perhaps, see more clearly to what class this 
copy of the Epistles is to be referred. 

The Epistola ad Octaiiianum has a striking resemblance to Erf., 
and is no doubt copied from the same archetyi^e. I went through all 
the variants in Wunder (pp. 137-139), and found H agreeing with 
Erf. in every case except the following : — 780. 15," uidere non poterat 
H, non poterat uidere E. ; 780. 22, pro H, proh E. ; 781. 13, lap- 
pidabat H, lapidabat E. ; 782. 18, utinam H, ut E. ; 782. 31, pi. K. 
H, E,. p. E. ; 783. 5, audiet H, audiant E. H is sometimes 
corrected by a second hand: e. g., 781. 5, dolere H^, dolore H^; 
782. 3, praedicabant H-, praedicabam H' ; 782. 5, celerem H'-, 
scelerem H.' 

The same agreement may be observed in the De Petitione Consu- 

1 For a full account and collation of the Erfurdt ms., see Variae Lectiones 
librorum aliquot M. T. Ciceronis ex codice Erfurtensi enotatae ab Eduardo 
Wundero, Leipzig, 1827. 

~ The references are to the pages and lines of Orelli's Cicero, edited by- 

Purser — 0)i a London MS. of Cicero' s Lcltcvx. oGD 

Jatus. We find H at one with Erf. in the followiug : — 359. 2, 
intellegentia ; 7, naturarum ; 19, omnibus; 360. 9, atque (/or 
quod) ; 23, caupadoces (H A«.s above the line uel caupones ; 29, r (/or 
cquites Romani) ; 32, optimusqixe caucilium ; 361. 10, curiose tan- 
nics; 362. 8, ab honoribus ; 15, petitionem magistratus ; 31, con- 
sul ; 363. 4, c. fundanique galii chociuii (Erf. lias chorciuii) ; 364. 
5, internes cahimniatores ; 29, hominem quam iners; 365. 27, autem 
emi quod; 31, obediendo ; 366. 17, adspectatorem ; 367. 31, facete 
abs ; 368. 1, equandum dato ; 369. 34, y {^for Roinani). The 
differences are slight, and such as would be made by two different 
copyists of the same archetype. H is rather more correct than 
Erf., which latter Wunder thinks of no very great importance 
in this treatise; e. g. H has: 359. 7, descendenti; 19, fere; 360. 
10, illis ; 15, homini; 362. 34, prorsus ; 363. 4, def erundis ; 6, 
est inserted; 17, homines inserted; 364. 1, hominum ; 9, compa- 
rantur ; 365. 28, adhibebitur; 36, salutatorum ; 366. 26, honesta- 
tem ; 367. 13, melius; 33, diurni nocturnique ; 369. 21, ornando ; 
28, poscit. 

The Erf. ms. contains the Be Amicitia and the De Senectute ; but I 
have been unable to find such resemblance as would lead us to attribute 
the copies in H to the same archetype. As regards the Be Amicitia, 
I compared the first fifty variants (of Ernesti's edition from Erf.), as 
given by Wunder, and found twenty-seven agreements of H and Erf. 
In all these cases, except two (viz. § 1, augur sceuola ; § 9, nee 
catoni comparantur, the two mss. preserve what is really the more 
correct reading, erroneously altered by Ernesti ; and in the remaining 
twenty-three, H has the correct reading, which has been corrupted 
by Erf. It has nee sicut . . . sapientem (§7), which is omitted by 
Erf., and, also, et uere (tuere, Erf.) in § 8. Of the first fifty impor- 
tant variants of the Be Senectute, H agrees with Erf. in twenty-seven. 
Of these it agrees five times wrongly, viz., § 1, flaminium, attice ; 
§ 2, leuare, certe scio (see Mr. Reid's note ad loc.) ; § 8, ignobilis. 
Out of the twenty-three times H disagrees with Erf., it does so only 
twice wrongly: § 5, ferendum; § 6, ingrediendum. H has all the 
words in the first ten sections, which Wunder notices as omitted by 
Erf. In § 3, it has attribuito corrected into attribuitur, and, in 
§ 10, a mixture of two readings, viz., cum etate condita grauitas 
cum etate condita uirtus grauis. H is on the whole wonderfully 
well copied. There is very considerable similarity between H and 
what Graevius calls his primus; but they are not the same, nor, 
I think, of the same family ; for though several examples of agree- 
ment may be adduced, especially in the first ten sections or so, 
still, in the latter part of the treatise, such variants as 600. 26 
(Orelli), occatum (occaecatum Gr.) ; 33, oblectamentumque (oblecta- 
menta Gr.) ; 608. 25, iuclusi (conclusi Gr.) ; 609. 23, crcditote 
(credite Gr.), 610. 4, colitote (colite Gr.) ; 23, stultissiraus ini- 
quissimo (stultissimus aequo, Gr.), must be considered of great 

370 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

"Weight.^ In fact, the only conclusion I can amve at, toncliing these 
two treatises as they appear in H, is that they are not connected with 
Erf. nor Graev. prim. ; and that it does not appear to what family 
they belong.* 

It is quite different as regards the Pliilippics. Here we can he 
very definite, for in H we have not only one of the same family as the 
Coloniensis, but the very book itself. In Col. the first two Philippics 
are pretty accurately copied, though we find such strange corruptions 
as 1243. 6, exhaimunt (/or exhauriunt) ; 1271. 5, Capouna (/or 
Capua), corruptions which H also exhibits. But from the third on, 
as may be seen from Graevius's Variae Lectiones, Col. becomes extra- 
ordinarily corrupt, there being ever so many erasures and corrections. 
Take, for example, such a passage as the following: 1295. 14. Here 
Graevius says — "In Coloniensi quidem habetur editorum lectio sed 
haec uerba se similem esse Kathilinae (sic ibi scribitur) gloriari sunt 
erasis nerbis a prima manu scriptis supposita recentiore a manu.'' 
J^ow, this exactly describes the reading of H. Again, at 1346. 15, 
Graevius says:- — "Alii fuit etiam in Coloniensi sed erasae sunt lit- 
terae Hi relicto «' nota ilia litterae a apposita est a recentiore manu, 
ab ilia quoque additum est a' dies. Ante intei'polatorem in illo lege- 
batur quamquam qui unquam alii ludi laetiores fuenmt cum in singulis 
nersibus. Quam etiam est additum ab interpolatore." Here, again, 
H. answers entirely to this description. In short, I have gone 
through all the passages, such as the above (and they are many), 
where Graevius has noticed any sort of tampering with the original 
text of Col., and in all of them I have found in H exactly those 
alterations and corrections that he has referred to. Both Col. and H 
have the three large lacunae belonging to the D family (see Orelli's 
Introd. to the PhHippics), viz. 1268. 2-1269. 10; 1306. 3-1318. 
6; 1346. 16-1347. 7. Further they agree with the D family in 
beginning the fourth Philippic at 1286. 6. On these grounds, I 
am quite convinced that the copy of the Philippics in H is the 
Coloniensis Graevius refeiTed to, though I feel bound to add that H 
has 1250. 6, tot praetorios . . . iuuentutis, which Graevius says are 
not found in Col. Graevius did vast work in his day, but was not 
exempt from error occasionally ; and I think he made some mistake 

^ Graevius alludes to Hittentorpianus [sic) at 589. 15, as having contemplor. 
So has H. This, however, does not amount to much, though I presume Graev. 
refers to the Hittorpianus. Eut we have no definite tradition of this ms. in these 
two treatises. 

* The codex Gudianus, No. 335, agrees in some points with H, and might be 
supposed to be dnnected, as without doubt the speech for Deiotanis, where it 
occiu's first in H, belongs to the same family as the Gudianus. But the points of 
difference are too p-i'eat. 

Purser — On a London MS. of Cicero's Letters. 371 

The spurious Declamatio Sallustii in Ciceroyiem, as it is given in H, 
agrees to some extent with ATB, as quoted by Orelli ; and the Decla- 
matio Ciceronis in Sallustium does so to a still greater extent. Both are 
very accurately copied. H. reads fuerint in 1425. 15. Neither of these 
treatises occur in Col. Erf. or Hittorp. 

The Orations against Catiline are, if not the very book itself, at any 
rate in very close connexion with the irs. which Graevius calls his 
secundus. Take, for example, 663. 1. Graevius tells us that his se- 
ciindus vea.([s publico consilio " sed eadem manus adscripserat superius 
^setho." This accurately describes the reading of H. Again, 674. 15, 
Gr. sec. reads (agreeing with H), re quidem ne nobis omnibus etiam 
turn probata ; 683. 22, senatu equitibus Romanis urbe aerario ; 684. 14, 
mihi et urbis siae uestro et sine uUo tumultu satis praesidii consultum 
ac provisum est; 687. 14, in rempublicam destrictos retrosimus (where 
H has even the short mark over the o) ; 703. 16, praesentis furore non 
mouear {above tvtiich in both Gr. see. and H is written praesentis dolore 
non mouear); 715. 10, coadiuuet (/or quoad uiuet). On the whole I 
have looked through about one hundred and twenty of the references 
to Graev. sec. and found at least one hundred and tive agreeing abso- 
lutely with H. As to the other fifteen, I am not quite sure that they 
are real exceptions, e.g. 683. 19, Gr. sec. is said to read respondebunt 
txmiulus syhestribus, omitting Catilinae after respondebnnt. H has 
Catilinae. But I think Graevius was insisting only that his secundus 
read tumulus, not tumtilis, and did not want it to be understood that 
it omitted Catilinae. So 684. 7, I do not believe Graevius intended that 
his secundus omitted ctcm iniquitate (H does not) ; for though he ig- 
nores it in the Variae Lect., he reads it in the text. The most impor- 
tant differences of H from Gr. sec. are : 665. 22, uerebere (uerebare 
'Gr.); 666. 13, adseruarem (seruarem Gr.); 673. 4, euasit erupit (erupit 
euasit Gr.); 678. 3, Quirites (om. H, ins. Gr.); 4 quod (quos Gr.); 696. 
8, ad supplicandos (ad supplicandos deos Gr.); 704. 8, ne manent deplo- 
randum P. R. (ne maneat P. R. nomen Gr.) ; 706. 7, formido (fortitudo 
Gr.). It will be easily seen by any reader of Graevius's Yariae Lec- 
tiones that such variants are trivial compared with all the other in- 
stances of agreement. That these two iiss. are identical is, to my 
mind, all but certain. 

The Paradoxa stoicorimi follow, but from what origin they are de- 
rived I cannot say. The tradition of siss. in Graevius's notes and Variae 
Lectiones is very scanty, and what there is wanting in definiteness. 
There is considerable agreement with one of Gulielmius's mss., but not 
sufficient to let us assume connexion. At 750. 25, H reads. Ego vero 
te non stultum ut sepe non improbum sed dementem iudico. Si quid 
in rebus ad uietum necessariis esse inuictum potest, &c. At 753. 27, 
the reading is as in the other iiss. mentioned by Orelli. 

The speech for Marcellus, where it occurs first, belongs to the same 
family as the llcdicean. It would be tedious and inapposite to give 
the proof in detail. I cannot at all discover to what family to refer the 
second copy of the speech. That it is in neither case connected 

372 Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 

witli Eri. lias seemed to me, after considerable examination, almost 

!Nor can I trace connexion between the speecli for Ligarius in either 
place and Erf. or Col. Graevii. Though we find striking similarities 
{e.g. 1202. 25), H (in second place) and Col. read ne in RS for ne 
iners), yet the divergences are very numerous and important. In each, 
case the speech is copied in H with considerable accuracy ; but to what 
family it is to be refei'red is a question I have been unable to answer. 

As also in the case of the speech for King Deiotarus, at least where 
it occui's the second time and in full. The first time it occurs it only 
goes down to § 26, aetate 1216. 26. That is just where the Gudianus, 
'So. 335, stops. There is considerable agreement in the readings of that 
MS. with H, and little divergence ; so that one may fairly, in my opi- 
nion, refer both to the same family. But again I am bafiled as to 
where to refer the speech the second time it occiirs. Suffice to say it 
does not agree to any great extent Avith either Erf. or Col. 

Fulgentiiis Planciades " De abstrusis sermonibus " comes in oddly 
amongst all the Ciceronian works. It is inaccurately copied. It has 
qiiid sit before each gloss all through. It has no list at the beginning, 
and is addressed to Chaleidius. It, however, difPers considerably fi'om 
the Brussels ms., IS'o. 9172 (for which see the treatise by Dr. Laurenz 
Lersch on Eulgentius: Bonn, 1844); but this is not the place to discuss 
the comparative worthlessness of H. 

On the speech for Milo we find in Orelli allusions (unfortunately 
only eight) to the Hittorpianus. They are: 1154. 16, ab improbis; 
1155. 4, diuina; 1172. 10, probari ; 1173. 11, uides ; 1171. 1, libente ; 
1182. 2, ea; 1183. 31, et f ortissimum ; 1183. 31, elegit. In all these 
Hhas the same reading. (True, in 1155. 4, Orelli says Hittorp. reads 
diuijiae, but Graev. declares that it has diuina). This makes a prima 
facie probability of the connexion of the two mss. 

Somewhat different is the case with the speech De Tmperio Cn. 
Pompeii. Here I have noted some forty-one references in Orelli to 
the Hittorpianus; and H. agrees in all except five, viz.: 520. 28, 
prope (propter Hitt.) ; 521. 28, prope (propter Hitt.) ; 523. 27, ut hac 
uos (ut uos Hitt.)] 531, 18, quibus erat molestum (quibus erat sem- 
per molestum Hitt.) ; 538. 21, iterum nunc (nunc \te\MvciHiti.). Still 
when against these we put such important agreements as 523. 18, 
studio atque odio ; 525. 15, partim ; 17,illud, omitted; 525. 20, quale; 
529. 17, quae; 530. 26, repentina ; 532. 24, commeudamus ; 534. 29, 
gereretur ; 32, cuiusquam iniquitas ; 537. 12, facultatem; 538. 22, re- 
ficiendi, together with twenty-four other such agreements, we have 
very strong proof that, as regards this speech, H and Hittoi-p. are 

The fragment that serves as introduction to the speech for Milo in 
Erf., viz. that beuinning P. Clodius senator seditiosus fuit (cf. Orelli, 
1152), follows. It is to be noticed that it is thus out of place. It 
ought to have preceded the speech for Milo. 

The Erf. fragments of the third and fourth Verrines follow, and 

Purser — On a London JIS. of Cicero's Letters. 373. 

fr(;m these, what Gruter calls the scJiedae of Melchior Hittorp., -were 
taken. These fragments are very accurately written, and superior to 
the copy of Erf., e.g. the words omitted in Erf. at 347. 25, 26, mittit 
etiam . . . mittitur ; 365. 10-12, dies ille . . . contio are found inserted 
in H. It has, however, often been altered by a second hand to the 
I'eading of Erf. 

The Be Officiis, Book I. and Book II., down to § 34, intellegentiae 
(693. 12), are accurately enough copied; but it is hard to say to what 
family they are to be referred. There are a very great number of agree- 
ments with Erf. ; but the variants, though few, are of such a character^ 
that one cannot be quite certain that the two mss. are from the same 
archetype. There is a curious transposition in H. It goes straight ua 
to 649. 17, commutatui', and then, though on the same page, continues 
at 662. 33, periculosa et callida, down to 683. 27, gradatim ; after 
which follows the previously omitted portion (649. 17-662. 33), after 
the completion of which it continues 683. 27 to the end. JN'o such 
transposition appears in Erf., which only goes down to 672. 20, sive 
bonitate naturae sive. 

The Letter of Alexander to Aristotle is that sometimes printed at 
the end of the editions of Quintus Curtius, entitled Alexandri Magni 
Epistola de situ Indiae et itinerum in ea uastitate ad Aristotelem prae- 
ceptorem suum in Latinitatem uersa a Cornelio Nepote. In H the 
only heading is Incipit Epistola Magni Alexandri Macedonis ad Aris- 
totilem magistrum suum. I believe there is a critical edition of this 
epistle by Kluge, but I have not seen it. 

The text in II of Julius Valerius's translation of the Bomance of 
Pseudo-Callisthenes on Alexander the Great is singularly accurate. It 
is in close accord with the Wolfenbiittel ms., which Zacher^ calls E, and 
values so highly, but at times preserves a more correct reading, and 
hardly ever disagrees with E. when the latter is right. I doubt if 
there exists a more accurate copy than the one in H. Julius Valerius 
is often found in mss. along with the Epistola Alexandri. (See Zacher's 
Preface; also Teuffel, Bom. Lit., 388. 11.) 

We have thus found a considerable number of the treatises in the 
Harleian volume connected with the Hittorpianus, Erfurdt, or some 
one of Graevius's mss. This is to be remembered when we attempt 
further on to show a close connexion between the copies of the Epp. 
ad Fam. in H and in the Hittorp. — a ws. of the Epistles which, 
together with the Palatinus Sextus, we are told'' is derived from the 
same archetype as the Erfurdt. But let us now say a few words 
about the copy of the Epistolae ad Familiar es as given by H. 

5 642. 7, quoad te (quousque Erf.) ; 653. 8, temporalis (intemperans Erf.) ; 
645. 5, gerendem (agendam Erf.); 670. 5, mancia (mauciatu Erf.). 

^ Julii Valerii Epitome, zum erstenmal herausgegeben von Julius Zacher : Halle, 

' Erfurtensis autem, et Palatinus sextus et Hittorpianus, quos ex eodi'm fum 
Erfurtensc fonte flu.tissc iudico, &c. (Wunder, " Yariae Lectiones," p. xciv.). 

374 Proceedings of the lioi/al Irish Acade)ny. 

The Epidolae ad Familiar e^, ix-xvi., are all complete witli the 
exception of ix. 18, though the index refers to this letter. There 
are indices to all the books except x., xi. It is unfortunate that there 
is no index to xi., as we should, wish to know whether it would have 
referred to the mysterious letter xi. 13«, about the unhappy inhabi- 
tants of Parma. There is no appearance of that letter in the ms. 
The letters of xir., from 22 to the end, are all run together as in M. 
xn. 29 and. xii. 21 are found a second, time after xiii. 77 ; also a 
letter to Caelius (ii. 14), after xiii. 49. In xv., epistles 9, 7, 8 come 
in this order as in M. In xvi., the order is the same as in M. Fol. 
20(5 (where the third quaternion ends) has 22 lines blank, but no 
break in the text. Fol. 30 3 (where the fourth quaternion ends) 
was blank, and has been filled up by a set of ingenious and somewhat 
laughable verses in double columns. Be sum et non sum, de sum et fui, 

The copy of H is, on the whole, pretty accurate — far more so than 
the MS of the first eight books, Harl. 2773. But we find nearly all the 
common kinds of errors which copjists fall into — confusion of i and /, 
ioci ior loci; c and t, qyqu patificatio (183. 25); c? and t, at and ad; 
u and n ; cl and d, demens for clemens (225. 32) ; ui for ut (220. 22) ; 
such mistakes as cito for scito, sceleriter for celeriter. 

As regards spelling, it is seldom consistent. Between rn and n in 
certain words it generally inserts p, e. g. calumpnia, contempnere. 
The compounds of iacere are always, e. g., alicere, ohicere. We find 
cottidie (but once cotidianas 225. 33), never quotidie, generally 
intellego, neglego, optinere, existumo, affrica, amicicia, actenus (though, 
often corrected by first hand to hactenus), paulo. We find always 
quicquid, expectatio, incolomitas, beniuolentia, lihenter, recuperare, mag- 
nopere, repperire,